For a few years, the “paraben free” label has been slapped on more and more products and we as consumers rarely ask what exactly it is that is being taken out of our cosmetics and why.
Parabens are used as a preservative in personal care products – which is all well and good until you find out what it is actually made of. Usually seen in the form of methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben, these preservatives are found in pretty much all personal care products like shampoos, makeup and body care.
They’ve been used by the cosmetic industry for around 70 years and with the rising incidences of various diseases and breast cancer, we would be ignorant to simply continue using products with this ubiquitous ingredient.
So why are parabens so detrimental to our health?
This is because parabens are petroleum based – which answers all the questions as to why it is harmful for our bodies. Parabens are very cheap, dissolve well and absorb easily into our skin. When you’re rubbing petroleum all over your face, body, lips and then eating it off regularly, any passer-by with common sense will understand that this is very alarming for people, particularly women, around the globe.
Parabens cause skin irritations, especially in young children. This can develop into more severe conditions such as rosacea and dermatitis. Girls who are going through puberty will experience premature aging of the skin and be more susceptible to breast cancer due to the estrogen-mimicking chemicals within parabens.