Ahh, the world of beauty…
A place where misinformation is rife.
Where things are completely and utterly blown out of proportion.
A place where ‘facts’ with no scientific evidence are accepted as true.
Parabens are a perfect example.
I’d be lying if I told you that I’ve never fallen for the paraben-free trap.
It’s an easy thing to do when you haven’t got the information required to make an informed decision.
You hear something, you see something and BAM – you’re on the bandwagon, ditching parabens (or so you think).
The demonisation of this type of preservative began way back in 2004 when the following paper was published by a group of British researchers at the University of Reading: Concentration of Parabens in Human Breast Tissue, by P. D Darbre, in the journal of Applied Toxicology 24:5-13 (2004).
This study showed traces of parabens in breast tumour tissue samples, a finding that was instantly interpreted, as parabens cause breast cancer.
What we know now is that this information is incorrect and that there was a major flaw with this study.
Although parabens were found in the breast tumour tissue, they were contaminated by an unknown source.
So, the parabens could’ve come from any other source.
Peer reviews of this study show that there are no casual links between parabens and cancer.
To this date there have been no studies that have proven otherwise.
The media picked up this study and parabens were made to be the bad guy.
To this day, people all over the world incorrectly assume that parabens are a big NO NO.
But let’s just take a second to put things into perspective…
The main concern people have with parabens are that they are endocrine disruptors in the form of Phytoestrogens, which mimic human estrogens.
People don’t realise that the concentration of parabens would need to be at least 25, 000 times than the dosage in which they are found in cosmetics.
Let’s be clear, ALL cosmetics need some form of preservation system.
Without it the products would be at risk of discolouration, separation, bacterial, fungal and microbial contamination, thus increasing the risk of irritation and decreasing the products efficiency.
Dr Des Fernandes, the Founder of Environ Skincare says,
“Parabens are mistakenly thought to be synthetic molecules, but in fact they are natural components of a vast number of fruits and vegetables.”
So basically, if you eat fruits and vegetables, you cannot avoid having parabens in your diet.
Despite the controversies surrounding parabens, all reputable authorities still agree that their benefits outweigh the danger of using products that contain no preservatives.