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  • Writer's pictureRenee

Whats the Deal with Parabens?

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What They Do

Parabens are a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria & mold.

Where They Are Found

Parabens are most common in personal care products that contain significant amounts of water such as: Shampoo, conditioners, lotions & facial & shower cleansers/scrubs because they discourage the growth of microbes.

Common Names

Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, other ingredients ending in -paraben.

Health & Safety Concerns

Parabens are not water soluble and can penetrate the skn making bioaccumulation a significant concern of recurrent exposure. Repreated application of a proudct or multiple proudcts containing parabens could mean almost continious exposure. The ubiquity of parabens in personal care products makes this a reasonable scenario.

Endocrine Disruption

Parabens are potenital endocrine disruptors due to their ability to mimic estrogen. In cell studies, parabens have been found to weakly bind to estrogen receptors. Studies demonstrate that at sufficient concentrations, parabens can increase cell proliferation in human breast cancer. A study of prenatal exposure in rats demonstrated increased uterus weight & uterine sensitivity to estrogen in the offspring. In addition to direct estrogenic effects, parabens can block androgens (for example, testosterone) and inhibit enzymes that metabilize estrogen.

Skin Cancer

Applying personal care products containing parabens can lead to UV-induced damage of skin cells and disruption of cell proliferation (cell growht rate). Daily application, in particular, can lead to increased concentrations because they are not completely metabolized. Parabns combined with other estrogenic chemicals may potentially influence the development of malignant melanoma, one form of skin cancer, through their estrogneic and genotoxic activities.

Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity

Some parabens appear to reduce sperm production and lead to reduced testosterone levels. In general, propyl- and butylparabens, specifically, appear to disrupt male reproductive system and affect the reproductive organs. Studies have found that maternal exposure to some parabens during gestation and lactation alters the development of the reproductive organs and sperm production as well as contirbuting to anxity and behaviorial changes in offspring.

These are some of the reasons that Beautycounter strictly bans Parabens from any of their products or ingredients. Considered one of the worst offenders, Parabens are found on the NEVER LIST (linked below) with Beautycounter.

If you would like to learn more, or how to make the swap to safer products for you and your family, I would be happy to help out! for my direct sales page, or you can slide me a message any time!!

Image courtesy of Beautycounter


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