Is 'sulfate-free' a good thing? What's up with parabens? What are the ingredients we should be avoiding completely?
Boycotting parabens but no idea what they actually are? We enlisted the experts to help decipher the science.
Much like “organic” and “all-natural”, “paraben-free” is one of those phrases you’ll see displayed prominently on increasing numbers of skincare and beauty products. What are parabens, what health effects do they have, and should you be avoiding them? Here’s the science behind the marketing.
We've gone dizzy trying to delve into medical reports to get the lowdown on parabens. Luckily, we have a much clearer concept after taking our concerns to two board-certified dermatologists and a cosmetic chemist. Here's what we uncovered.
You probably own at least one beauty product that proudly declares itself to be paraben-free – is there any reason to buy more, or is it pure marketing?
While there is good cause for concern with regard to the widespread use of parabens in cosmetics products today, there are many other substances you should look out for too. When buying paraben free lipstick, try to make sure that you choose an organic brand that does not contain other harmful substances, such as formaldehyde and triclosan.
Should you worry about the chemicals in your makeup, lotion, shaving cream, soap and shampoo? The answer is a clear maybe.
A controversial group of chemicals commonly found in lotions and other personal care products may be more dangerous at low doses than previously thought, according to a new study.
The primary issue has become their ubiquity. “Parabens are found in between 13,000 and 15,000 personal care products,” said Janet Gray, director of the science, technology and society program at Vassar College. “So we are not talking about a single exposure but a more pervasive one.”
Minority women are also more likely to buy products that have been advertised specifically to help them appear more “white,” like skin lightening creams or treatments to chemically straighten their hair, says Ami Zota, an environmental epidemiologist at the George Washington University and co-author of the commentary.
Some of these products contain chemicals with known health consequences
The paraben debate will doubtless continue. In the meantime, it is possible to rid yourself of parabens if you have concerns about them.
Parabens are a common cosmetic ingredient and, lately, the object of much vilification.
These preservatives are common, but health concerns have cropped up.
With shoppers more interested in what isn’t in skin and hair products, many marketers tout their lack of ingredients, such as parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
Walk through any beauty aisle and you’re bound to see multiple products prominently touting their “paraben-free” formulas on the packaging. Perhaps you’re even seeking them out. You certainly wouldn’t be the only one. It’s pretty clear that consumers are moving away from parabens — but why? Turns out it's not as simple as it seems. To demystify the conflicting opinions around parabens, we turned to experts on both sides of the argument.
This review article talks about what a paraben is, the structure of a paraben, different types of parabens, where we would find them and the health implications of using products containing it.
Human health effects from environmental exposure to low levels of parabens are unknown. In 2006, the industry-led Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), in a partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), determined that there was no need to change CIR’s original conclusion from 1984 that parabens are safe for use in cosmetics. The FDA allows single or multiple parabens to be added to food or food packaging as antimicrobials to prevent food spoilage.
Parabens are a group of chemicals that
are widely used as preservatives in
cosmetics and personal care products
such as deodorants, shower gels and
body creams. They effectively prevent
the growth of microorganisms.
To evaluate if the way they are currently
being used is safe, the Scientific
Committee on Consumer Safety has
repeatedly over the years reviewed
the scientific data on potential health
effects. Experimental studies in animals
have shown that these parabens have
generally low toxicity and that they
don’t cause cancers.