Paraben… What’s the fuss?

Posted on December 12, 2011

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Parabens are a preservative that is found in many health and beauty products. What are the concerns? Here’s a quick post on the basics of parabens.

According to the FDA, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review researched and deemed parabens safe to use in cosmetics in December of 2005. Here’s what the FDA had to say: “FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. However, the agency will continue to evaluate new data in this area.”

Quick Facts about Parabens:

  1. Parabens are a cheap and effective preservative used in moisturizers, shampoos, cleansers, deodorants, toothpaste among other beauty products. (Preservatives are used to protect cosmetics against microbial growth)
  2. Most commonly used parabens in cosmetics are: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben.
  3. Typically parabens are used at levels ranging from 0.01 to 0.3%.

What’s are the concerns?

  1. Some studies found parabens inside the tumors of some women with breast cancer. While parabens were found inside the cancer, the results did not conclusively prove that the cancers were caused by parabens. So to be fair, we’ll just say that parabens may cause breast cancer.
  2. In experiments with animals, parabens have shown estrogenic activity on the body. This type of interference with hormone balance may cause a variety of health issues including depression, low sex drive, weight gain and infertility for both men and women.

So there you have it. Now you know what will and/or may happen. I hope that the Cosmetic Ingredient Review re-opens this safety assessment soon so that we can know the truth about parabens. In the meantime… I think I will play it safe and do my best to look for paraben free products when possible. ;)

Have a great week everyone. ~

Posted in: product review