However I’m pretty hopeless when it comes to consuming makeup/beauty products, it’s also well known that I’m always considering the safest and healthiest options first. My own bathroom is lack of any well known, commercial personal care brands and it’s all because of one reason: I want to give the best for my family, and keep them as healthy as possible. And parabens…umm, so parabens are a NO-NO in our household. But are parabens bad?
First we have to clarify what parabens are; this is a collective noun for a specific group of ingredients that are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products, such as lotions, shampoos, makeup and so on. Parabens (or more closely: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben) are stopping the growth of bacteria, fungus and other microbes in the products they used, providing a “safe” product with long shelf life.
However so far there is no evidence that parabens are harmful, more and more studies are coming up with surprising result on the use of these preservatives. One of the biggest scare around parabens were when they found out during a breast cancer research that in 99%-ent of the cases minimum one type of paraben particle were found in the tumors. This study created a world wide demand for change from the consumers side towards the big personal care brands.
“Studies have shown that some parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells, and while estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer, parabens have been found present in breast tumors.” – via Stylecaster.com
But other than this, parabens can cause multiple skin irritations; paraben allergy, contact dermatitis, rosacea, and studies showed that methylparaben (for example in sunscreens) applied on skin and then exposed to direct sunlight, gets into a reaction with the UVB rays and can lead to increased skin aging and DNA damage.
Thanks to the increase demand the beauty industry started to open towards alternative solutions when it comes to preserving the products, and these days plenty of personal care items are on the shelves with “No Parabens” label. Since I’m a big supporter of natural & organic beauty I’d say go for these brands: Dr. Hauschka, Dr. Organic, Aveda, Alive Cosmetics, John Masters Organic or Korres.