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All About Parabens: What You Need to Know

September 04, 2019

All About Parabens: What You Need to Know

We all want to make smart decisions when it comes to our health. That’s why the replacement food revolution is on the rise (think: meatless burgers, dairy alternatives), making organic eats and plant-based everything more popular than ever. 

The thing is, there’s a huge focus on what we put into our bodies — eating local, organic, non-GMO foods — but not much talk about what we put onto them. That’s a problem, because beauty products like lotions, body washes, shampoos, make-up, and other cosmetics often contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancers, allergies, neurological disorders and even reproductive issues. 

Parabens are among the most controversial ingredients found in many popular beauty products. So, what exactly are parabens — and are they bad for your skin?

What Are Parabens?

Parabens are a type of preservative found in many foods and skincare products, including cleansers, sunscreens, shampoos, and body washes. 

Used since the 1930s, parabens often appear in cosmetic ingredients lists as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or ethylparaben.

Paraben Side Effects

Parabens have been known to cause mild allergic reactions and skin rashes. 

More seriously, there have also been studies on the toxicity of parabens and their role as endocrine disruptors. Some research suggests that parabens can interfere with natural hormone production by imitating estrogen, which can lead to reproductive complications and developmental abnormalities in children.

Plus, it’s not just humans feeling the impact of parabens. Many cosmetic products end up in the ocean and, for that reason, parabens have been found in marine animal tissue.

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Parabens and Cancer

This 2004 study connected parabens and cancer when researchers found traces of parabens in breast cancer tissue. 

Though there has been no proof of parabens actuallycausing breast cancer, the study did show that parabens can enter the body. Considering the other known side effects of parabens, this finding doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. 

The Verdict: Go for Paraben-Free Products

The debate continues as to whether or not parabens areactually harmful to humans. (They remain approved by the FDA, which, unsurprisingly, continues to cause controversy.)

The average woman’s daily beauty regimen includes 12 products (and hundreds of different ingredients!). If all 12 products include parabens, that’s no small amount of preservatives entering your body.

But before you toss your makeup bag in the trash, here’s the good news: clean beauty lines (like us!) are stepping up to make truly nontoxic, natural, organic beauty products more readily available than ever. We’re setting new standards for totally safe, paraben-free products that deliver amazing results and can compete with popular toxic favorites. 

Essential Oils: The Natural Paraben Alternative

As with many popular conventional beauty ingredients, there are natural alternatives to parabens. Look for essential oils, which have been proven to function as natural preservatives.

Remember, amazing natural skincare products exist — the trick is to read ingredient lists and sort through the suppliers who are authentic about their mission. The best beauty brands are making the world a healthier place by creating products we can trust. 

Because clean beauty is for everyone!