Too Pretty For Parabens

Too Pretty For Parabens

OK, you have seen parabens on a label and it’s probably in more than a few of your products. Do you really know what a paraben is, or how it is used? Find out about this passé product. 

Used primarily for their fungicidal and bacterial properties, parabens are chemical preservatives that prevent microbe growth in beauty products. Since various types of parabens are a common ingredient in many of the products available on store shelves today, it is crucial to understand the basics of this chemical in order to make an educated decision about the purchase of certain makeup items. 

Many companies use parabens in water-based solutions like shampoos, moisturizers, lotions, cosmetics, tanning creams, facial cleansers, and shaving products to name a few.  They are used in those products because they are so cost-effective and provide long-term protection against microorganisms. However, it is vital to understand that these chemicals can be absorbed through the blood, skin, and digestive system. This is one main reason the use of parabens in skin and beauty treatments has become so controversial over the last few years. 

While there are valid arguments for both advocates and detractors of these types of preservatives, studies show that there are risks involved in using beauty products containing parabens. Since it interferes with hormone function, parabens can lead to an increase in the risk of reproductive toxicity, skin irritation, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, immunotoxicity, premature aging, and breast cancer. Individuals with paraben allergies may find that the products they use cause rosacea and contact dermatitis. Young children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the effects of this chemical. 

Due to the potential dangers, experts recommend that consumers err on the cautious side and opt for natural, paraben-free beauty and skin products when possible. Labels that indicate the presence of propyl, methyl, ethyl, and butyl forms of parabens should be avoided in favor of safer cosmetics. While certain items might not last as long, an individual's health is more important.

And hey, it’s always better to be safe and beautiful than sorry.