How Important Are Parabens?


What are parabens?

Parabens are a  class of chemicals widely used as preservatives by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. They are effective preservatives used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties.

Where can parabens be found?

They can be found in shampoos, moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, make up and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives.

Why are parabens so common?

  • they are effective preservatives
  • they are low cost
  • they have a long history of use
  • natural alternatives like grape seed extract are ineffective

Are they safe?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization consider the chemicals safe at low levels.

Why are they becoming increasingly controversial? 

They have been found in breast cancer tumors. They have also displayed the ability to slightly mimic estrogen (a hormone known to play a role in the development of breast cancer.) Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin may react with UVB leading to increase skin aging and DNA damage.

What are some common parabens?

Methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl.

What are some non toxic and effective ingredients?

D-Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Plantservative from Honeysuckle, Vitamin
C (and high levels of other antioxidants), L-Ascorbic Acid.


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