What are parabens?
Parabens are a type of synthetically engineered chemical preservative that is used in many cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They have bactericidal and fungicidal properties and are in everything from deodorants, shampoos, and lotions to makeup, toothpaste, and baby products. They can also be used in some cases as food additives. Parabens’ low cost contributes to their widespread use.
What’s the big deal?
While no definitive direct link exists between cancer and paraben use, some indicators suggest that synthetic parabens aren’t as healthy for us as we might have assumed. Some studies show that parabens can accumulate in the body over time, and in a recent 2015 study, parabens were shown to increase the proliferation of existing cancer cells. More research is needed into possible links between parabens and cancer, especially since paraben use is so prolific in many of the products we rely on daily.
Now you’ve made me worry!
Don’t fret too much, as there are definitely things you can do to reduce your paraben use! Many companies that commit to natural ingredients (like Energique) have completely eliminated parabens from their products. However, you must be sure to read the label because “paraben” has many different names, and just because a label says “natural” doesn’t always mean it is paraben-free. Some alternate names for paraben include “METHYL”, “BUTYL”, “PROPYL” or “BENZYL” in them. Here is a complete list of the synonyms for parabens that you might see on labels. Educating yourself about the ingredients in the products you use will enable you to make wise choices that, in turn, help you have a healthier lifestyle.