What are Parabens and Should You Avoid Them?
August 08, 2017
Since the early 1950s, parabens have been added to most cosmetic and personal care products to prevent the growth of bacteria. This sounds harmless enough, especially when you consider that they’re cheap and effective, however, studies have also linked this chemical compound to breast cancer and reproductive issues, including early onset puberty and reduced sperm counts.
So, are they really safe? To understand whether we should be using them or not let’s first look at what they are in a little more detail.
What are Parabens?
Parabens are a form of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, a chemical compound that’s typically used as a preservative in beauty, health and personal care products. They will appear on your product’s ingredient’s label as methylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben, or butylparaben and isobutylparaben.
These ingredients are commonly used in makeup, shampoos and conditioners, deodorants and even body lotions, to name a few. The inclusion of this compound prevents the growth of fungus, bacteria and other potentially damaging microbes.
The parabens found in these products aren’t naturally occurring, they’re actually man-made, but can be found naturally in some foods, such as blueberries.
Despite having a long history of safe use when compared to other similar ingredients on the market, research has started to emerge that suggests parabens are a lot nastier than the industry used to think.
Why are Parabens Dangerous?
Most cosmetics use very minimal amounts of parabens in their products, which are well within the safe levels, however, the accumulative build-up of these parabens across your personal care and beauty regime can overload your body and contribute to a wide variety of health issues.
One of the biggest concerns surrounding the use of parabens in everyday products is that they are known to disrupt hormone function and have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.
This is because parabens have been found to mimic oestrogen by binding oestrogen receptors to cells. When oestrogen inflates above normal levels it can trigger a series of potentially dangerous reactions, including breast cell division and the growth of tumours.
Another big concern is that parabens have been found to remain intact and unaltered by the body’s metabolism. This means that they can penetrate the skin and remain for an unspecified amount of time in the breast tissue.
Parabens have also been linked to reproductive, immunological, neurological and skin irritation problems.
Here at Serene Day Spa, the health and wellbeing of all our clients is always at the forefront of our minds, which is why we ensure all our skincare ranges are paraben free.
For the majority of our specialist skin treatments, we prefer to use Ultraceuticals products, as not only are they paraben free but do not contain, sodium-laurel sulfate, propylene glycol, petroleum, mineral oil, harsh chemicals, synthetic dyes or fragrances. It’s also certified as 100% cruelty-free – think of it as skincare with a conscience.
To learn more about our skincare products, corrective skincare solutions and facial treatments, contact Serene Day Spa on (08) 9245 8188, or send an online enquiry today!