What Are Parabens?

If you’ve been looking for an answer to the question, “What are Parabens?”, we have the answers that you’ve been looking for; these substances are chemicals which have preservative qualities, and they are frequently used in cosmetics and other over-the-counter beauty and health care products (such as shampoos and toothpastes). Today, many people are concerned about the side effects of ingesting Parabens or putting these chemicals on their skin; this common fear of Parabens is usually triggered by the alleged link between Parabens and the development of certain cancers.

In this article, we’d like to explore some of the most common pros and cons of these chemical preservatives, along with some helpful and practical information about “What are Parabens?” We are here to help you choose the right Paraben-free products for yourself and/or your family…

What Parabens Are and Why Are They Used

Parabens are used to make products last longer; their chemical properties make them effective preservatives that keep ingredients fresher for longer. These preservatives kill molds and funguses before they have a chance to spread and damage products. While the “pros” of using Parabens are few, they do dramatically extend the shelf life and efficacy of many beauty and health care items; they keep products from spoiling on store shelves or going bad in home medicine cabinets or drawers.

Without preservatives, products may spoil (or lose some of their effectiveness) before they are all used up, and these means wastage and higher bills for sundry replacement items. People who are committed to living “Paraben-free” will probably need to spend more money for specialised products that are organic (and labelled as containing “no Parabens”). If money is no object, it should be easy to stay away from these controversial chemicals; however, for everyday people with average incomes, avoiding Parabens (which are in so many mass-produced, affordable products) may be tough indeed…

Why Parabens May be Bad for You

According to certain Paraben studies, these chemicals (which include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben, among others) may harm human health by contributing to the development of cancerous tumours. While there are differing views on this subject from a range of medical researchers, there is little question that these chemicals are found in some cancerous tumour tissue. The links between Parabens and cancer (specifically breast cancer) is of particular concern to many people. Since Parabens are commonly present in many items that are specifically marketed to females (such as makeup items, cleansers, and shampoos), many females are appalled to learn that they have been putting Parabens on (and in) their bodies for years.

Women with breast cancer in their family medical histories may be particularly determined to learn what Parabens are, and to eliminate potentially harmful Parabens from their beauty kits, shower stalls, and medicine cabinets. The presence of Parabens in some breast cancer tumours is undeniable; however, the role that these chemicals play (if any) in the development of breast cancer – or any other harmful diseases – is still hotly debated. To stay on the safe side, many girls and women search for Paraben-free products with healthy, natural ingredients. That’s why you are probably aware of more “Paraben-free” ingredients labels on a range of beauty and health care products. The higher demand for these products is triggering a host of new options on store shelves…

Even men may be harmed by Parabens, which are often absorbed into the body through the epidermis; some medical researchers believe that Parabens interfere with healthy endocrine system functioning. Everyone who uses Paraben-laced ingredients and products should be aware of the potential downside of using these chemicals in beauty and health care aides. By knowing why Parabens may be bad for you, you will be able to make an informed decision about what to buy (and what to avoid). While staying away from Parabens requires a little research and planning, it can be done, and many people feel happier knowing that these preservatives have been taken out of the equation. Luckily, there are more Paraben-free products on store shelves than ever before, and these items often contain herbal, natural ingredients that may actually be beneficial to the human body.

Products that Commonly Contain Parabens

Over three-quarters of beauty and health care products sold in the marketplace will include Parabens in their lists of ingredients. Almost any typical beauty or health care aide may contain these chemicals, unless it’s specifically labelled, “Paraben-free”; for example, toothpastes are often treated with Parabens to keep them fresh and minty for a longer period of time. Unfortunately, using toothpastes with these chemicals means that these preservatives are being taken into the human body in significant quantities.

Parabens may also be found in sunscreens, shampoos, conditioners, hair products, moisturizers, anti-aging serums, mascaras, and other cosmetics. When shopping, be sure to look at the ingredients of every item you are interested in; if you see Methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben, and polyparaben listed among other ingredients, you’ll know that a product does contain Parabens. If you go through existing products in your own home, you may need to throw away most of your beauty and health care products, as the ingredients are likely tainted with allegedly harmful preservatives.  One all-round product that can be used as a skin moisturiser, cleanser, hair conditioner and anti-aging cream is organic argan oil.

While it will cost some money to start from scratch, it may be worthwhile, particularly if you fear breast cancer and wish to do all you can to avoid it. People with health issues that are centered on the endocrine system should also be very careful about which ingredients and products they apply or ingest.

To find good Paraben-free products with healthy, beneficial ingredients, spend some time searching for Paraben-free beauty and health care lines while browsing the Internet; look for retailers that offer good prices, competitive shipping rates (or free shipping), and other perks that make ordering worthwhile. It may be wise to check out Paraben-free product reviews and customer feedback to see if any items you’re considering ordering will really meet your expectations. As well, do some research to see what the typical shelf life (or “best before” date) is on these prospective purchases. Once you’ve done some homework, you’ll be able to select effective products that offer you a host of benefits without busting your budget.

How to Spot Parabens

Parabens are chemical compounds based on parahydroxybenzoic acid. These chemicals are typically found in cosmetics, but they may also appear in food items and health care aids. The antimicrobial properties of Parabens make them a popular choice for a wide range of commercial applications; since they kill bacteria in products and their various individual ingredients, they extend the shelf-life and efficacy of a range of products. Every company that uses Parabens in their products must compile detailed lists of ingredients which are printed on jars, boxes, bottles, and other packaging. Luckily, knowing which chemical names to look for helps consumers to avoid these preservatives while stocking up on needed items.

Pharmaceuticals may also contain Parabens; if you’re concerned about your medical prescriptions containing traces of these chemicals, speak to your family doctor about alternatives, and check the monographs of products before you order or refill prescriptions. Certain Parabens are believed to mimic the effect of the hormone, estrogen, which is worrisome for those who fear cancers that are triggered by elevated estrogen levels. Build a relationship with a good doctor, speak to him or her about your fears, and seek out Paraben-free drugs when it’s feasible.

Alternatives to Parabens

Health food stores and other alternative shopping outlets may offer Paraben-free products to consumers; these items may contain ingredients, such as organic acids, that help to preserve formulas without harmful side effects. Examples of organic acids used in the place of Parabens include diazolidinyl urea, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate. When you’re shopping for great alternative products, check lists of ingredients…if you can see that these organic acids are listed on the package, and that no Paraben chemical names are included, you’re pretty safe buying the item. Of course, it’s always best to buy from manufacturers who clearly stamp the words, “Paraben free” on every package that they deliver to stores or sell from online outlets.

Many caring parents are also concerned about chemicals that are placed in products that they use to care for their babies, toddlers, or older children. However, modern health care aid and beauty product manufacturers are listening to their target audiences and coming up with alternatives that may have less negative impact on the health of children. If you’re not keen on using Paraben products for your children, look for toothpastes, baby shampoos, and sunscreens that are one hundred percent Paraben-free.

Now that you’ve learned all about the risks of parabens, you’ll be ready to make a smart decision about buying (or avoiding) these common chemicals. In the future, more information about exactly what role these chemicals play in the development of cancers and endocrine-based health problems may be revealed; researchers are currently studying the effects of these preservatives in great depth. For now, it may be smarter to seek out alternative products that give you greater peace of mind while you shampoo your hair, brush your teeth, or take your medicine.