Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What are parabens?

Health conscious people today are starting to educate themselves more and more about beauty products that are hazardous to our health and well being.
Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetic products. However, these common yet harsh and potentially harmful additives are increasingly known as something to strongly steer clear of. Mainstream cosmetic companies still use these harsh preservatives to facilitate their production as they are cheap, mass produced and easily accessible. The most common parabens used in cosmetic products are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Typically, more than one paraben is used in a product, and they are often used in combination with other types of preservatives to provide preservation against a broad range of microorganisms. Cosmetics that may contain parabens include makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and shaving products, among many others.

In the last few years, the FDA&C Act (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act) has received many inquiries on the safety of parabens as used in cosmetics. As a result, a number of studies have been put into effect to assess the risks of continuous exposure to parabens. One study, in 2004 detected parabens in breast tumors. They have been shown to act in similar ways to estrogen and cause imbalances in the body.
At the present time, it has been concluded that the studies cannot prove a direct danger in consuming products containing parabens. This is mainly due to the very low levels (between 0.01% to 0.3%) that are added to the cosmetics and also, unfortunately, the studies left several questions unanswered.

Common sense can also play a strong role. Given the fact that the average women uses numerous products on a daily basis and additives like parabens are esily absorbed through the skin every day for many years, they can be accumulated in the body over time and therefore are very likely to slowly deteriorate our health. The type of lotion you put on your skin should be as important as the food you put in your belly. Both are absorbed into your body and bloodstream. Therefore, the products we choose to use on our hair and skin should be selected just as consciously as the food we choose to eat. There are alternatives!

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