What Are Parabens? Why You Should Buy Cosmetics without Them

what are parabensParabens are preservatives that are made synthetically. They are used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, deodorants, shampoos, and moisturizers. Commonly used parabens are ethylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben.

The preservative actions of parabens make it possible for cosmetics, and other products to last for an extended time period, without going bad. Unfortunately, they also are readily absorbed by your skin and can enter your blood stream. Parabens can mimic estrogen in the body and thus cause a disruption to your endocrine system, and are frequently referred to as xenoestrogens.

Parabens are not allowed in organic cosmetics or skin care products. No product that contains parabens will be deemed organic by the National Organic Program.

Parabens mimic your body's naturally produced hormones, mainly estrogen, and they can disrupt your hormonal balance. They can have an adverse effect on many body systems, including the male reproductive system.

 The risks of breast cancer are increased by estrogens. Parabens mimic estrogen in the human body. Hence, the risk of breast cancer will increase for those who absorb parabens from their skin care products.

Parabens were detected in breast cancer tumors and breast milk. In a study performed in 2004 parabens were detected in the breast tumors in 19 of 20 females that had breast cancer. Thus, it is proven that parabens rapidly penetrate the skin and can accumulate in bodily tissues, like breasts. Since parabens are common ingredients in deodorants and anti-perspirants, perhaps this is the reason why most breast cancers are located in the outer and upper portion of the breast, the same area that is near the under arm.

Parabens are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream when applied to the skin. Actually, you receive a higher concentration of parabens when applying it to your skin than if you took it orally!

Parabens can be responsible for skin allergies and rashes. There are many products that claim they are for sensitive skin, yet they contain parabens. Even a small amount of parabens, used for an extended time period can cause skin problems.

There is some good news, however, there are numerous safe preservatives that are not toxic that can be utilized to replace parabens. Parabens are not necessary and any product that is certified as organic, will not contain them. Here are a few non-toxic preservatives that can be used in place of parabens.

Non-toxic preservatives include vitamin E, grapefruit seed extract, Neem oil, and rosemary oleoresin. These componds are widely utilized as preservatives and they are all naturally occurring substances. Sulfate preservatives are also problematic and not a suitable alterrnative to parabens.

So, we know that parabens are used in a huge number of products. We also know that they are readily absorbed from the skin and accumulate in body tissues. Furthermore, we know that they mimic the effects of estrogen in the human body. We also know that estrogens can cause breast cancer, and the administration of an exogenous form of estrogen can disrupt the immune system. In addition, this exogenous estrogen mimicing compound can also have adverse effects on males. It can decrease male potency and cause the enlargement of male breasts, similar to the effect that is witnessed when males take an excessive amount of anabolic steroids, which are metabolized into estrogen like compounds.

So, how do we avoid these dangerous chemical compounds, since they are so prevalent in the skin care and personal hygiene products we purchase? First, read the labels of all the products that you purchase very carefully. If you detect any of the aforementioned parabens on the label, discard the product.

One of the best ways to avoid parabens, and other harmful chemicals, is to purchase products that are certified organic. You will find that there are quite a number of companies that are selling organic health, beauty, and personal hygiene products nowadays. In fact, by using these products, not only will you avoid applying dangerous parabens to your skin, you will also be able to avoid a host of other toxic chemicals that many companies put in these products.

Cosmetics that are produced with organic ingredients are manufactured without using harsh chemicals. For cosmetics to be considered organic, the Organic Consumers Association must certify them as such. The process of manufacture of these cosmetics should not use any type of synthetic chemicals.

So, if you want to avoid parabens and other harsh chemicals then we suggest that you purchase products that are certified by the Organic Consumers Association as organic. If a product is not certified organic, then look carefully at its label prior to purchasing it. If you do this you can avoid being exposed to many of the unhealthy parabens that are present in so many products. In this manner you can allow your endocrine system to function naturally, without exogenous hormones that mimic estrogen, like parabens.

Barbara Komorek

Barbara is the founder and owner of www.leanhealthyandwise.com. She is a former research scientist with a serious passion for health. She enjoys writing about nutrition, wellness and lifestyle and empowering people to take control of their health.