Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Are Paraben Free Cosmetics Safe? - The Controversy!

 

(Source - outofstress.com, temptalia.com, dermtv.com)

What are Parabens?

Basically, parabens are a cheap preservative that can be found in its various forms in cosmetics, deodorants, hair care, pharmaceuticals and food additives. Chemically speaking they are an ester, which is an alcohol molecule and an acid molecule bonded together by displacing a water molecule. Parabens have been used as a preservative for over half a century and are regulated by the FDA for everything but cosmetics. They do occur naturally in low quantities in many fruits and vegetables; however, the parabens used in cosmetics are synthetically formulated to provide a consistent product.

 

Purpose of Parabens in Cosmetics

Parabens represent less than 1 % of the total ingredients in most cosmetics despite remaining unregulated by the FDA. The presence of parabens and other preservatives in cosmetics prevent the growth of mold and other bacteria that can pose very serious health risks, such as blindness. Parabens are the preservative of choice for cosmetic industries, because they are cheap and easy to use.

Are Paraben Free Cosmetics Safer?

The lack of through, long-term research has many people heading for products that advertise being paraben free, however there is risk with those as well. The majority of paraben free cosmetics are using newer preservatives that do not have the long track record of parabens. They could be harmless, but they also could hold potential health risks. We don’t know, because they haven’t been around long enough to find out.
Cosmetics made with more natural preservatives, such as grape seed extract, create products that don’t last as long. Most people are very forgetful about being careful about throwing out expired cosmetics, which with a weaker preservative could mean they are using a product riddled with bacteria and fungus.


Concerns About Parabens in Cosmetics

Concerns were raised about the affects of parabens in cosmetics in the mid to late 1990s. There was a study that showed that parabens were easily identifiable in cancerous cells. The study didn’t link paraben use to cancer development, but it also didn’t not link them. Due to major flaws in the scientific process of the study, no control group, many have dismissed the findings are useless.

Since then, there have been a few other studies examining how many parabens are absorbed into the body and what affects these may have. The results do show that parabens absorb rather quickly into the bloodstream. With parabens estrogenic behaviors some propose that it will disrupt the endocrine system, which could lead to things like increased risk of breast cancer for both men and women and decreased sperm count for men.

Supports of parabens often refer to the hundreds of scientific experiments that demonstrate that small amount of parabens in the cosmetics do not ill affect the body. Advocates of paraben free cosmetics argue that those studies only examine one cosmetic at a time and therefore are useless for the majority women who use anywhere from nine to twelve products at a time.

 What Choice Do You Make?

With no clear answer on what is really the safest cosmetic option, it is important for each person to research thoroughly and make their own decisions. You might choose to continue believing that parabens are harmless or you might decide that they are the DDT of beauty products. No matter what you choose, remember that everything in excess can be harmful and that moderation is almost always the safest option.


What people say about them :


-->Parabens are great as they preserve your products to avoid breeding bacteria and increasing the shelf life of products so I think that they are good in that sense.
But if you consider how unnatural it is for things to be preserved for that long (think food left out), you wonder what effects the “preservation” is doing internally.
I would rather avoid it if I can, but if I can’t, I won’t be too fussed using something with parabens in it, as long as it is not in large quantities all the time :)

--->Parabens are fine. They’re widely used in food (which is FDA aprroved), so if you can eat them safely, you can surely put them on your face and be safe.

--->I don’t watch out for them, but I do choose natural products or higher quality products when possible, which are less likely to contain them!

---> I try my best to keep them out of my skincare, body care (esp. deodorant!) and haircare (although I admit to using Redken’s All Soft products sometimes), and I absolutely won’t put any product with a paraben in it on my lips because of fear of ingestion. Sadly this leaves out the wonderful Chanel lip products.
  
--->I have yet to find paraben-free lip products that I like. :(

--->MAC’s don’t have parabens. They contain phenoxyethanol or BHT which I’ve heard aren’t such great preservatives either, but they’re still not a paraben.
I also use Bobbi Brown, Aveda, Tarte’s 24/7 balms and their new twist-up lip crayons.

--->Yay and nay — I’m fine with them for myself, but am always on the lookout for paraben-free products for my sister (who’s allergic to them)!

--->I completely agree with you. Also being that Parabens are just preservatives and are used in very tiny amounts, I don’t mind them a bit. In fact, I’d be more concerned about products without any preservatives because they can expire so quickly and harbor harmful bacteria.

--->The scientific evidence just isn’t there. Life’s too short to worry about that kind of thing, and miss out on quality makeup.

   
--->Parabens in MAC makeup or skincare? I read all of the boxes on my MAC cosmetics (don’t use their skincare) and there is no paraben listed. They seem to use phenoxyethanol as their preservative.

--->I never touched them while pregnant. And I do prefer products withput them, however like the other commenter said, some of my fave products do contain them.


--->Parabens are great as they preserve your products to avoid breeding bacteria and increasing the shelf life of products so I think that they are good in that sense.
But if you consider how unnatural it is for things to be preserved for that long (think food left out), you wonder what effects the “preservation” is doing internally.
I would rather avoid it if I can, but if I can’t, I won’t be too fussed using something with parabens in it, as long as it is not in large quantities all the time :)

-->The FDA has done tons of studies on real women and has concluded that there is, and I quote- “parabens are safe for use in cosmetics”, and it also says that, based on the weight of all the current scientific evidence, “there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of products containing parabens”. They are metabolized too rapidly in the body to give off any adverse effects.

---> i tried to avoid them but its so hard when a lot of products i love have them :(



Are PARABENS Safe? Video by DermTV




What Do You Think?

3 comments:

  1. in my point of view this point is still under ongoing research that are paraben free or not,batter way is to use natural cosmetic products which are best alternative and do work

    ReplyDelete
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