What Are Parabens?

February 9, 2011

danger signShopping for cosmetics can be daunting. Dozens of pretty bottles, tubes, vials and compacts all vie for your attention. Sometimes its easy to make the eco-conscious choice: Not tested on animals, good. All natural, good. Organic, even better. Paraben-free, um, okay?

Should I care about Parabens and Paraben-free products?

Parabens are a preservatives which are synthetically produced and used in everything from processed foods to personal care products such as skin cleansers, shampoo, and toothpaste. They are highly effective in their purpose of inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungus but some studies suggest that parabens are responsible for some types of cancer — specifically breast cancer. Parabens mimic estrogen and having too much estrogen is thought to contribute breast cancer. In some cases large amounts of parabens have been found in cancerous tumors.

Studies citing parabens as dangerous are inconclusive and controversial. The FDA claims that parabens are safe, particularly in the very small amounts in which they are used in cosmetics. The fact is, however, that we use countless chemicals on a regular basis without ever knowing the long-term cumulative effect. Using several products with parabens, on a daily basis, all over the body, inside and out, over a long period of time, simply adds up. The best way to avoid a health risk is to eliminate parabens wherever possible and a great place to start is with cosmetics.

The best bet is to look for products that are certified organic. From salon products like John Master’s Organics to our newest skincare line, Eco Inventive Organics, all products at milk + honey are free from parabens. We are happy to take the stress out of finding products superior in quality and made from ingredients that won’t make you sick.

Image credit Chego101

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