Parabens in Skincare : What You Need to Know

You have probably heard by now that parabens are under a lot of scrutiny from health advocates. Many consumer advocates feel that there just is not enough proof that regular exposure to this incredibly common chemical preservative is not toxic. Parabens show a link to hormone imbalances which lead to a host of health issues and can result in the culmination of various diseases. This is why all our body, hair and personal care products are 100% paraben free.

That’s the stance that many are taking, and now there are more companies offering paraben free skincare products and other body care or personal hygiene products. Parabens may not be “harmful” in small doses, but as you know, we bombard our skin with products every day with these chemicals, and over time they do build in our bodies, along with a multitude of additional chemicals found in these products.

One alarming study showed that parabens, as well as a host of other chemicals used in skin and personal care products, were abundant in random urine samples of adult men and women. They have even shown up in most human breast milk. So, for the “experts” to say that a chemical that is so pervasive is not harmful is questionable.

Parabens are a known endocrine disruptor. They actually mimic the hormone estrogen, and hence are thought to potentially fuel breast cancer in women. One UK study had scientists purporting that parabens and other toxins found in breast tumors likely came from underarm deodorant (which is why our natural deodorant is aluminum free and paraben free).

They have also been linked to prostate cancer in men and therefore may be just as unsafe for men. This means they can interfere with the body’s own hormonal balance and cause a host of health issues when they build to high levels. They have been linked to organ toxicity as well as cancers found in both men and women.

The hypothesis is that the topically applied parabens are actually more harmful than if you were to ingest them orally due to their chemical properties. Essentially, digestion may help to neutralize some of their harmful properties whereas skin absorption does not inhibit any of the hormone-manipulating properties of these chemicals.

The real danger lies in the fact that so many of our daily products can contain these. The possibility for a major buildup of this chemical is pretty high, since your skin is like one giant sponge, soaking it all in. This is especially true for products that you use over your entire body, like body lotions where it is safe to say you are over exposed.

Paraben free products such as ours do not contain these chemicals, nor do ours contain any chemical preservative. Chemicals are chemicals, any way you look at it. Our skin is the largest organ we have. Do you really want chemicals all over your skin, just waiting to sink in and enter the body?

We use pure vitamin e to help extend the life of our products, which is also an excellent natural skin conditioner. Vitamin e works as a totally natural alternative to chemical preservatives like parabens because it is a powerful antioxidant.

When a product “oxidizes”, it means it starts to decompose and the ingredients begin to break down. Vitamin e helps prevent this breakdown process naturally. In addition, many of the essential oils we use are naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial.

Your skin is very absorbent by nature and soaks lotions and creams, serums and gels up like a sponge. If there is any doubt about this, there are several studies that prove you absorb everything placed on the skin into the blood stream.

So why will you never find parabens in our product line? Well, for one thing, our products do not need an indefinite shelf life. We make them on a consistent basis and do not need them to last five to ten years on some shelf in a store. We use vitamin E, a natural antioxidant to preserve our products.

Along with vitamin E, we also rely on the naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial properties in the essential oils we use to preserve our products naturally.

Here is just a sampling of products we use every day that may contain parabens:

Lotions and creams
Facial and body cleansers
Soap
Deodorant
Perfumes, scented body sprays
Cosmetics (much of the makeup you use in fact, contains parabens for a long shelf life)
Sunscreen
Personal lubricants
Lipstick and balms
Shampoos and conditioners
Hair care products like gels, creams, hairsprays and other styling products
Toothpaste and oral care products

Question : What do parabens look like in the ingredient lists of your favorite products?

Answer : They take a couple different forms, but all are parabens and should be avoided if possible : methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben and benzylparaben

Basically, any ingredient that ends in the word “paraben” is a paraben and if you can, avoid it or look for products that are specifically labeled as paraben free. Not all products advertise this, so if in question simply turn it over and read the ingredients label, as these are required to be disclosed on the labeling.