Jan 14, 2011

Know the Ingredient: Parabens

Products with Parabens Ingredients Lush TBS Harmful Effects Research

What are Parabens

Parabens are commonly used preservatives in cosmetics and medicines because of their ability to prevent growth of bacteria and fungi.  Parabens can be found in shampoos, moisturizers, medicines, toothpastes, and are also used as food additives.

Types of parabens

  • Butylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Heptylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben

What's so bad about parabens?

  • Cancer scare: Parabens have been shown to have weakly estrogenic properties (translation - they behave similar to estrogen, but very watered down) on tests conducted on animals. Reason that would seem worrying is a lot of breast cancers are very sensitive to the hormone estrogen. This means in people with a breast tumor, presence of estrogen can (can, not will) make the tumor grow faster. It does not mean that in a healthy person, presence of estrogen causes cancer. However, this is still under a lot of research, plus the amount of parabens used in cosmetics is supposedly a much much much lower dose than the doses mentioned in research papers.
  • Studies have shown that methylparaben applied on the skin may react with UV rays from the sun causing skin aging.
  • Some people have skin sensitivities to parabens, paraben allergies, and in such people it can cause skin allergies and rashes. However, this is not a very common occurrence, and generally most people don't have skin reactions to parabens.
The pro-paraben facts - Not really pro, but some arguments against the paraben scare are:
  • Methylparaben is found naturally occurring in several fruits, mainly blueberries, along with other parabens. Not that I am saying if it's natural, it's safe - but blueberries do seem safe.
  • At concentrations generally used in skincare and cosmetics, there is no evidence that methylparaben or propylparaben can be harmful. Methyl and propylparabens are considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe) for food and cosmetic antibacterial preservation.
  • Methylparaben is easily broken down by common soil bacteria - is completely biodegradable.Products containing Parabens Ingredients Harmful Effects
Lush, my favorite brand as some would say (right next to Chanel), uses parabens as preservatives. I have not yet gotten around to researching how safe the ingredients in the paraben-free products are, but having tried a fair amount of products, I still continue to use Lush simply because their products work and are filled with amazingly good ingredients. I really wish someone would hurry up with the research and let me know for sure if I should stay off Lush or not!! What about you? Where do you stand on the paraben issue?

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  1. Interesting.... didnt know abt this aspect!

  2. This is quite informative and educating article Rads!! :D ..... Good morning!! :)

  3. Ohh..me getting worried now..maybe I should have added a pooop or two here and there naaaa...GOOOD MORNING CALI :D

  4. he he..I just translated your page in ARabic..Except your "Hii", everything got translated well!! :P :P..You are too bad for typos!!!

  5. good morning everyone and happy happy pongal !!!!

  6. Happy Pongal, Priya :D :D PRIYAAAAAAAAA...see this

  7. hahahahahaaa....ok me still reading....but this is omg...me fainted

  8. raseeelaaa dawa hai ya...koi adbhut chameli....hahahaa

  9. :D :D :D My hubby's discovery maarning maaaaaaaarning

  10. hahahaaaa.......me rolling with laugh.....mr. rads...thk u for this discovery

  11. why has he discovered only this post *giggles*

  12. No idea :P :P :P I just heard him laugh so loudly and then we went mad :D

  13. i cant get over this :P me show hubby too once he gets over his snore !!! :D

  14. parabens r der in everythg..bt wat all can v avoid n how long..good to hear the pro points though..

  15. well...I have one interestng fact to state...concentration of all parabens combined can not be more than 0.5% of the product so how can such less conc be harmful especially when applied externally....another thing is that our bodies will pass on parabens without breaking them down and they will metabolize before they get accumulated in the body and lastly I? really feel that if there are no preservatives in the product how can one be sure of the product...agreed that parabens are not the only preservatives but they are most effective in least concentrations....

  16. Nice info, Swati. I didn't know they are effective at such less concentrations..:)


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