Have you heard the hype about the dangers of parabens in cosmetics? Well, there are tons of conflicting studies that either support it or dismiss it. But given the fact that there is an ongoing debate about the safety of parabens- chemically produced anti-microbial preservatives that can also be found in food and pharmaceuticals, one is validated in their hesitation to use products that are formulated with them.
Typically concentrations of parabens in products tend to be pretty low; generally 1% or less. A cocktail of parabens like methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben is usually put together to provide just the right mix to stave off contaminants like fungi and other bacteria. Now you may ask yourself, “What’s so bad about that?” Afterall, who wants to open a fancy jar of expensive new age-defying face cream to find a layer of fungus growing on top? Not I!
But, consider this … according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, U.K. researchers have found high concentrations of six different parabens in 20 human breast tumors. Given that it is a chemical that mimics the hormone estrogen and is absorbed through the skin, gastrointestinal tract and bloodstream, that studies findings is not surprising.
There are alternatives to using synthetically produced parabens such as grapeseed extract or other naturally occurring preservatives that are derived from plants. But, their shelf life is usually at question and most cosmetic companies would rather forgo the safety risks. Nowadays, however, many companies are yielding to consumer demands by making their products “paraben-free.” Fortunately our society is one that is becoming more conscious about its wellbeing. And, because there is fast-growing evidence of the dangers that long-term use of parabens can cause, taking more precautionary steps would only prove to be wise. So, be sure to look for products that are labeled “paraben-free;” and support the movement for a more healthier you.