Ingredient to Avoid: Parabens

What are Parabens?

Introduced in the 1950s, Parabens are a type of preservative found in many skin care, makeup and hair care products on the market. Parabens are used in products to extend their shelf life and to ensure that they don’t grow mould or bacteria within them. Parabens were used by so many companies as they were seen as a cheap way to preserve products. Like many of the ingredients used in beauty and general household items, Parabens are another ingredient that has begun to be seen as problematic by professionals and consumers in recent years.

Why could Parabens be bad for us?

Parabens are put in products with the hopes that it will make them last in your cupboard for many years. They could also potentially preserve in your body, as they could possibly enter it through the skin when you use products that contain parabens. A British study conducted in 2004 even found that 19 out of 20 women were found to have five parabens within their breast tissue. This study may have essentially confirmed that Parabens could have the ability to penetrate the skin and enter the body.

It is also suggested that Parabens could disrupt hormone function by mimicking oestrogen. This is potentially problematic as too much oestrogen can lead to cell division and the growth of tumours, which is why scientists and medical professionals are exploring the possibility that parabens could be linked to cancer and reproductive issues.

Parabens could also be bad for our environment

Parabens may not just be bad for us, but they could also be bad for our environment. This is because much like the incredibly problematic Micro-beads, Parabens also wash down our drains when we use the products that contain them. As parabens ensure that the products that contain them are made to last, they cannot be filtered out and therefore they can enter our sewage system and then eventually our waterways. This could already be having an impact on marine life, with researchers discovering parabens inside the bodies of dolphins and other marine mammals.

Are there alternatives to Parabens?

While more research needs to be done on Parabens and how potentially problematic they could be, it could be beneficial to avoid them based on the risks that have been suggested. As many consumers have become skeptical of Parabens, companies have made a point to not use them, however, they are replaced with ingredients that could be just as toxic as Parabens.

Fortunately, like many problematic ingredients on the market, there are some great natural and safe alternatives out there. Essential oils such as, Tea Tree, Lavender, Thyme, Lemongrass, Rosemary, and Lavender have strong antimicrobial properties that possibly have the ability the protect apparatus against bacteria, mould or fungi. This means that essential oils could be useful extending the shelf life of products as a natural preservative. Y natural uses Natural Fragrance to preserve its products. Natural Fragrance is an extraordinary blend of natural extracts that are effective in preserving our products.

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