Paraben Free Cosmetics

Paraben Free Cosmetics

Paraben Free Cosmetics are the latest health scare fad, or are they? Growing up as a kid in the 1970’s, I learned that nearly everything we used or consumed might cause cancer. Whether it was cigarette smoke, imitation sweeteners, high-fat diets or the music we listened to; chances are, someone did a study which proved it was linked in someway to cancer.  Now, it’s pareben free cosmetics. When my wife became a Mary Kay consultant, potential prospects began asking her whether or not their cosmetic products contained Parabens. Paraben is a chemical preservative used in cosmetics like makeup and lotion to keep them from drying out. Studies have shown that some women with Breast Cancer had very small amounts of Paraben in their system. While this might sound scary, it is important to remember that a relationship doesn’t equal a cause. Also, it is important to remember that the Parabens could also come from food. Secondly, the amounts of Paraben in most cosmetics are a tiny fraction of what is considered safe by the FDA. Studies show that most cosmetic products consist of only .03 to .3 % Parabens. In 1984, the FDA did a study on the three types of Parabens: Butylparaben, Propylparaben and Methylparaben and determined that anything under 25% is safe to use. While, I’m not a guy who takes the federal government recommendations as the bible truth, I think there is quite a bit of margin for error between .3% and 25%. Paraben is not only included in makeup, but other products such as over-the-counter cosmetics, shaving creams, lotions and food. None of these products sold at our stores here in America include anything close to the 25 percent Parabens considered safe by the FDA to prevent Paraben Cancer. At the same time, I don’t blame people who want to live and consume in a way that is as natural and free of any toxic chemicals as possible. I can especially appreciate this lifestyle if you or someone else has ever fought, won or lost a battle with cancer. Ultimately, there are lots of choices when it comes to paraben-free cosmetics.

I have noticed recently, that more and more retailers are carrying cosmetics, lotions, soaps, etc., which are free of parabens.
It is much easier to find healthy products at your local grocer or department store. You will usually find the information printed or advertised on the product packaging. Costco and Walmart now have a decent selection of sulfite-free and paraben-free shampoos.

1 thought on “Paraben Free Cosmetics”

  1. This is a response to the comment above. Paraben is a precursor to oestrogen. Oestrogen is not a nice hormone to have too much of. A quick search on PubMed shows many studies of parabens. Here is an abstract of one of them.

    J Appl Toxicol. 2008 Jul;28(5):561-78.
    Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks.

    Darbre PD, Harvey PW.

    This toxicology update reviews research over the past four years since publication in 2004 of the first measurement of intact esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (parabens) in human breast cancer tissues, and the suggestion that their presence in the human body might originate from topical application of bodycare cosmetics. The presence of intact paraben esters in human body tissues has now been confirmed by independent measurements in human urine, and the ability of parabens to penetrate human skin intact without breakdown by esterases and to be absorbed systemically has been demonstrated through studies not only in vitro but also in vivo using healthy human subjects. Using a wide variety of assay systems in vitro and in vivo, the oestrogen agonist properties of parabens together with their common metabolite (p-hydroxybenzoic acid) have been extensively documented, and, in addition, the parabens have now also been shown to possess androgen antagonist activity, to act as inhibitors of sulfotransferase enzymes and to possess genotoxic activity. With the continued use of parabens in the majority of bodycare cosmetics, there is a need to carry out detailed evaluation of the potential for parabens, together with other oestrogenic and genotoxic co-formulants of bodycare cosmetics, to increase female breast cancer incidence, to interfere with male reproductive functions and to influence development of malignant melanoma which has also recently been shown to be influenced by oestrogenic stimulation.

    2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd


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