Ingredient Spotlight – Parabens
Cosmetic Ingredients; Parabens
Updated January 2011
I scroll through the Internet sometimes looking at other mineral makeup lines and what is currently on the market. I look mostly at ingredient listings; I am often surprised at what is in the products we put on our skin.
IF, and this is a big IF…
I am lucky enough to even find the ingredients listed on the site.
Most times I search the entire site and can. not. find. the ingredients.
That makes me wonder.
Why aren’t the ingredients listed in plain sight? Don’t other people look? Do you? Do you want to know what you are putting on your skin? Why would someone buy cosmetics with out knowing what was in it? You read the ingredient label at the grocery store.
OK, so let’s say you do find the ingredients. You read through the list, and you see something that you can’t pronounce. Does this mean it isn’t safe? Not necessarily. Just because we can not pronounce a word does not mean it is harmful. It doesn’t mean it’s not either. It just means, we have not learned what it is yet; we have not educated ourselves yet.
So, let’s get educated.
Go into your bathroom, your purse, your bedroom, and pull out your cosmetics. Set them all in front of you.
Now, let’s read those labels.
Look for Parabens
Parabens of any kind: methyl, ethyl, probyl and butyl;. It will read like this: methylparaben, ethylparaben, probylparaben, butylparaben. You will most often find them at the end of the ingredient listing.
Parabens are a group of inexpensive synthetic preservatives commonly found in many different cosmetics and body care products, such as moisturizers, face and skin cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, sunscreens, deodorants and antiperspirants, shaving gels, toothpastes, makeup (including some mineral makeup brands) and many others.
They are also used as preservatives in food and beverages, and in some medications.
Parabens are possible hormone disruptors, and possible carcinogens. Nuff said.
Here are some highlights/excerpts taken from a series of articles from the Environmental Working Group.
“Some parabens can irritate the skin or cause allergic reactions. Laboratory studies indicate that parabens are estrogenic meaning they can mimic the hormone estrogen, disrupting normal function of the hormone system. In a recent study, traces of 5 different parabens were found in the breast cancer tumors of 19 of 20 women examined.”
“Urine samples of 100 adults were also studied by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and nearly all contained parabens.”
“The European Union already banned the use of sodium methylparaben in fragrance because it can strip pigment from the skin, and while the Food And Drug Administration in the U.S. has regulations regarding the use of parabens in food and drinks, the same regulations do not apply to the use of parabens in personal are products.”
There are cosmetic companies that claim that cosmetic ingredients do not get into your blood stream. I, for one, don’t buy it. The pores on your skin absorb what you put on.
Be sure what you put on your skin is worthy of your health.
Clearly, the debate is ongoing. For me, if the likelihood exists that using parabens is toxic, yet I can easily avoid them in my cosmetics and body care..then why wouldn’t I? That to me, is a no-brainer.
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