so, i recently purchased a daily moisturizing lotion online (still waiting on it so i can give a product review), and one thing the manufacturer emphasized is that the product is ‘paraben free’. not realizing that parabens were a bad thing, i did some research, and was kinda disturbed.
Parabens are preservatives commonly found in shampoo, makeup, skin lotions, creams, foaming cleansers, lipsticks, lip glosses, deodorants and shaving gels ***editor’s note: parabens are also found in hair products*** to protect them from bacterial and fungal contamination. And there’s nothing natural or organic about them.
More and more women are becoming concerned that their so-called natural, nontoxic hair care products and cosmetics could indeed be toxic. For several years now, the scientific community has been raising red flags about parabens and their health effects, especially on women.
As far back as 1998, researchers reported: “Given (parabens’) use in a wide range of commercially available topical preparations, it is suggested that the safety in use of these chemicals should be reassessed.…” But so far, it hasn’t been and parabens are still in wide use.
The Problem With Parabens
Opponents say parabens, particularly butylparaben, disrupt normal hormone functioning by mimicking estrogen. Scientific evidence suggests exposure to estrogen and substances that behave like estrogen may increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
Even more troubling, parabens are being used in products like lotions, deodorants, and make-up that stay on the skin for long periods of time, being absorbed directly into the body. Some scientists are concerned that parabens could migrate through the skin and into the bloodstream, bypassing the gastrointestinal system, which normally breaks down and eliminates toxins from the body.
So why would all these companies who are trying to convince us that their beauty products are natural and healthy continue to use an ingredient that has come under such scientific scrutiny?
The companies that use parabens defend them, saying they’ve been in use 70 years and are approved by such bodies as the World Health Organization and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel in the US.
While it’s true there have been no studies that prove beyond a doubt that parabens increase the risk of cancer, the debate continues over whether the preservative should be in use at all until we know for sure that it’s safe.
to me, this stresses the importance of sticking closer to natural products, and whipping mixtures up as needed instead of relying on shady chemicals like paraben to keep store-bought products fresh over time. what do you think? i mean, i kno store-bought can’t always be avoided… but i’m starting to feel like homemade mixtures, or products from indie companies like oyin and qhemet are the safer/healthier way to go.
also, i kinda want to get a paraben black list going… if you kno any products that are paraben-loaded (and, by default, ones that are paraben free), call them out!