Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why Parabens in Cosmetics Are So Dangerous?

Parabens are commonly used preservatives in cosmetic products because of their antibacterial and antifungal properties. Parabens are a family of alkyl esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid that differ by various chemical substitutions. The widely marketed para-hydroxybenzoic acid esters are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben, and benzylparaben.

Some of the cosmetics and personal care products that contain Parabens are: shampoos, soaps, shaving gels, cleansing gels, moisturizers, scrubs, personal lubricants, topical pharmaceutical creams/lotions and toothpaste etc.

The use of parabens have become a issue that raises concerns because of the fact that many health researchers have shown some evidence of problems on several levels. It is reported that parabens penetrate the skin and can be traced in the blood minutes after application and may have adverse effects on the body.

Health Concerns

The biggest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. According to a 2004 UK study, traces of five parabens were detected in the breast cancer tumors of 19 out of 20 women studied. It has been estimated that women are exposed to 50 mg per day of parabens from cosmetics.

Parabens may also interfere with male reproductive system and believed to be responsible for low sperm count and decreased testosterone levels in males. Studies also indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage. Parabens can also lead to early puberty in adolescent girls and boys.

Parabens can also cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis and rosacea in individuals with paraben allergies.

How to find Paraben Free Cosmetics?

If you want to keep parabens out of your cosmetics, there are plenty of paraben free beauty and personal care products on the market. Many products will proudly display at their packaging that they are paraben free. Some brands like LASS will be entirely paraben free.

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