Parabens is a word that is something of a hot topic in the cosmetic, skincare, and haircare industry right now. Essentially, parabens are a class of chemicals used as preservatives in personal care products like facial cleansers, shampoos, moisturizers, lotions, and more. The 6 most commonly used types of parabens in the personal care industry are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben, and these work to preserve products by curbing bacterial growth within the product.
If parabens are used to prohibit bacterial growth, what is so bad about them? Long chain parabens are also considered potential endocrine disrupters, which means that while prohibiting bacterial growth, they may also disrupt hormone production when absorbed into the body. The endocrine system and the hormones it produces help to drive every function in the body, so when these processes are potentially disrupted, they can really throw the body off entirely.
While parabens are beneficial to keeping products from becoming contaminated by bacterial growth, the reward doesn’t outweigh the risk when there are safer natural alternatives available. In products from body butters to face masks, plant or natural alcohol based ingredients can help to inhibit bacterial growth without any signs that the endocrine system may be disrupted. This provides all of the same benefit parabens are used for, but without any of the long-chain paraben, chemicals to leave you worried about what your skin may be absorbing.
While regulated in most of the world, parabens are still common ingredients in personal care products across the board. In the majority of skincare, haircare, makeup, and even toothpaste you find on a store shelf, you’re like to find parabens as a preservative ingredient. By choosing truly natural products, you can avoid the potential dangers that may come along with paraben use and absorption, and without worrying about knowing every long chemical laden word on an ingredient list. Without parabens, you’ll be able to reap the reward of all the benefits of a product without any potential long-term damaging effects.
Widely used in personal care products, parabens may come with some potentially dangerous side effects not found in truly natural products.