Parabens – Are They In Your Personal Care Products?

by Jennifer Boudreau on July 11, 2013

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Bed Head ingredients Edited PaintLast year my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. While she is now cancer free, anyone will admit that your eyes immediately become wide open when you hear the word “cancer” regarding someone in your family. You become hyper-aware or your environment and the effect it can have on your health. After all, cancer can have many causes, so it is best to eliminate as many potential factors as possible….which leads me to parabens.

Parabens are everywhere, but for today’s purpose, I will be talking about their use in our personal care products; body lotions, skin care, deodorant, make-up, hair care, etc. Parabens are a widely used preservative found in many of these products and have become highly controversial.

Why are parabens controversial? Well, more and more studies are finding a potential connection between parabens and breast cancer. According to the Breast Cancer Fund,”Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors (Darbre, 2004).” Parabens have also been found to mimic the effects of estrogen, and high levels of estrogen have a direct link to breast cancer.

Our skin is the largest organ in our body and it absorbs what we slather on to it. You know how your skin gets pruney after sitting in a bath tub for awhile? Well, that is because your skin is absorbing the water. While we do not soak in a bathtub filled with our personal care products, our skin is still being penetrated with the chemicals we apply to it.

Until more research is done, I have made the decision to remove as many parabens as possible from our home. If you are looking to do the same, the next best step is to check your personal care products and avoid any products with an ingredient listed that ends with “paraben” (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben, butylparaben and others). Check every product because many, many companies still use them. If you do use paraben products, be sure to skip using them in the armpit and breast areas due to the possible breast cancer link.

What’s a girl to do? Take matters in to your own hands! According to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (D), the 50 billion dollar cosmetic industry is darn near self-regulated. So do not look for anyone to do anything about it other than yourself. Due to the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act of 1938, the FDA cannot require companies to conduct safety assessments or product recalls. I’m serious…you’re flying solo.

Check out this list of companies who are part of The Compact for Safe Cosmetics.  These companies have taken a voluntary pledge of safety and transparency. In other words, you can trust that these companies will not sneak any questionable ingredients into your personal care products.

Good luck! It is not always easy to find products that are both safe and effective, but with a little trial and error, you can find which products work best for you!

Please visit my Facebook page and let me know if you find any parabens in your products!

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