What are Parabens and should you avoid them

Saturday 14 November 2015

We often hear Parabens are bad for us and we should choose Paraben free products. But why are they bad and why should we avoid them? Today I'm looking in to Parabens with a magnifying glass and hopefully make things a bit clearer. 

What are Parabens?
Parabens are cheap and effective preservatives. Parabens are used to make products last longer. They kill mold and fungus for longer and that way dramatically extend the shelf life of many beauty and health care items and stops them going bad too quickly. 

Why are Parabens bad?
Many studies have been done on the most common Paraben chemicals like

• methylparaben
• ethylparaben
• propylparaben 
• butylparaben 
• isobutylparaben

According to the studies parabens may be bad to your harm health. By contributing to the development of cancerous tumours. There are differing views on this subject from a range of medical researchers.  There is the question that these chemicals are found in some cancerous tumour tissue. The links between Parabens and cancer (specifically breast cancer) are of concern to people.

There is a worry that Parabens can be stored in the body and over time they could have a cumulative effect and damage health over time.

While there is currently no scientific evidence to confirm that Parabens directly causes cancer. It's right to be mindful. Do you want to take the risk? I know I don't. 

Where do I find Parabens?
Parabens are found in over three-quarters of beauty and health care products. Almost any typical beauty or health care aide. May contain these chemicals, unless it's specifically labelled "Paraben-free".

Parabens are found in most haircare and skincare products like 

• Shampoos & conditioners
• Moisturisers
• Sunscreens
• Toothpaste
• Mascara 
And many other cosmetics. 

Alternatives to Parabens
Paraben-free products may contain ingredients, such as organic-acids, that help to preserve formulas without harmful side effects. Examples of organic acids used in the place of Parabens include

• diazolidinyl urea
• sodium benzoate
• potassium sorbate

Always read the labels on products. But safest is always to go for products that are labelled Paraben-free. 

If you want to play it extremely safe, use a few oil-based organic products that don't contain water (which calls for a preservative). They often come in dark containers with a pump so that light and air don't degrade them quickly. Just make sure you use them within their use-by date. 

While the evidence is not completely satisfactory regarding the safety of Parabens in cosmetics. I think it's important to be aware and make choices of avoiding these toxins for your own health. Choose Paraben-free products. 

My favourite Paraben free brands


Are you concerned about Parabens? Or do you believe it's nothing to be concerned about? What are your favourite Paraben-free products?

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