Parabens are synthetic preservatives used in foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, moisturizers, shampoos and even toothpaste. Common parabens include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. These preservatives allow skin care products to survive for months or even years in your medicine cabinet without going rancid. The problem with this is that they are absorbed by your skin when you use products containing parabens. According to Mercola.com, the body can absorb as much as five pounds of cosmetic chemicals every year. That number is astounding! We all know that eating healthy is good for us, but many people forget or don’t even realize that what we put on our skin is just as important. Parabens can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt functions of the endocrine system. What does this mean to you? In tests, parabens have been shown to slightly mimic estrogen which is known to play a role in breast cancer. There are also studies showing that parabens could be related to the increasing prevalence of early puberty in girls.
”The World Health Organization and United Nations this year concluded : “Exposure to E.D.C.’s (endocrine disruptors) during fetal development and puberty plays a role in the increased incidences of reproductive diseases, endocrine-related cancers, behavioral and learning problems, including A.D.H.D., infections, asthma, and perhaps obesity and diabetes in humans.” See source & article here.
So why do companies make and sell products with known endocrine disruptors?
Well, because it is cheap. They are efficient at preserving the life of the products at a low cost. The health of the consumer is not taken into concern with many companies; it is more about their bottom line.
There are studies out there showing that parabens might be safe, and others stating that they are not. I would rather purchase products that do not contain this preservative just to err on the side of caution. My mom died of breast cancer at the age of 61 which led me to research all I could about different products that we put on our bodies. I don’t want to wait another 10 years for studies to come out saying that parabens are definitely playing a role in the increasing rate of breast cancer. And for my daughter, I want her to grow up as toxin-free as possible.
I urge you to read the labels of all your personal care products and see what is really inside. If there are ingredients you cannot pronounce, chances are, they aren’t good for you.
The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is an excellent website where you can go and check the toxicity level of your products. I encourage you to go online to be aware of what you are putting on your body, which ultimately gets absorbed into your system. SKIN DEEP DATABASE EWG is constantly working to make sure we all know what is in our products. They have made great strides in making companies clean up their products which is a huge benefit to all of us.
Currently, you can join their petition to clean up the ingredients in both L’Oreal and Revlon products. “Many companies are reformulating their products to remove DMDM Hydantoin, which releases cancer-causing formaldehyde, and four parabens linked to endocrine disruption. But Revlon and L'Oreal are sticking with their formulations and leaving customers at risk.”
If you are looking for a place to start, check your deodorant. This is something you use every day and that goes right under your arm around lymph nodes. You will be shocked by what you find in these that are known endocrine disruptors, toxins and tied to cancer. For my family, we use Ava Anderson’s deodorant that is free of all toxins and actually works. For more information, see my website here. The top 5 harmful chemicals you want to avoid in deodorant are: Aluminum, Parabens, Propylene glycol, Phthalates and Triclosan. If you see any of these listed, don’t use it!
My mission as a Certified Health Coach is to make the world a happier, healthier place, one person, one meal at a time, with love and gratitude. I work to inspire others to live a life of prevention and overall wellness!