A quick google search for Parabens will show you a Google Translate result telling you that Parabens in Portuguese means Congratulations.
This could not be more ironic. There is nothing congratulatory about having parabens in your skin care.
Parabens are primarily used as a preservative in skin care to enhance the shelf life of your cosmetic. Your regular supermarket product has its economics structured for mass production and mass distribution and hence the need for preservatives that last the entire journey and then some more on the store shelf in front of you.
While that’s quite excellent for economics, it's not quite excellent for your body. Parabens are a hormone disruptor because they mimic estrogen in the body.
They typically show up in your ingredient label as any one of the following list in the list below:
The next time you are in the supermarket, do take a look at the labels in some of the well-known brands and you might be in for a surprise that many of the well-known, widely consumed brands are actually quite full of parabens.
Parabens used in large amounts have been shown to be harmful to the body. One might argue that the concentration of these chemicals in things like moisturizers etc are very small to cause any damage. What one needs to know is that daily consumption tends to exacerbate the effects of these ingredients. Everybody knows that fizzy sugary drinks pass the safety test, but do we consume them on a daily basis? No we don’t.
EWG’s Skin Deep database rates parabens highly on the scale of toxicity citing plenty of studies showing endocrine disruption and immunotoxicity. Breast Cancer tissue has been found to have parabens as well. Parabens weakly mimic estrogen and increased activity with estrogen has been linked with Breast Cancer. Increased estrogen can interfere with the reproductive system, hence weakening the systems of both men and women. Some parabens have also been linked to decreased birth weight in babies. What’s worse is that the downstream effects of us having parabens in our products leads to it being accumulated in the bodies of animals too. They have the same reproductive effects in them.
A study by the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption shows significant wildlife and the environment disruption.
Our bodies have delicate ecosystems which can be significantly disturbed with the slightest of changes. Adding small toxins on a daily basis leads to disrupting this ecosystem whose consequences are slowly emerging. Perhaps it is time we get a little more information about our choices and what we put into our bodies. Our bodies are the only vehicle for our journey through life and it is completely dependent on you to make the right choices. Do the right thing by your body and say no to parabens.