Monday, June 2, 2008


It's only recently that I've become aware of parabens. They say ignorance is bliss and I was living proof of that until the past year.

Parabens are chemical preservatives that are very commonly used in cosmetics and other personal care products in the United States. Studies show that parabens can disrupt hormone function and are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream without ever being broken down by our bodies.

I'm not a scientist but none of this sounds good to me. Like I, or any woman for that matter, need one more thing messing with our hormones.

As with everything, there are also studies that say that parabens are harmless and that we should stop being paranoid. I would have been in that boat until recently. Then I read that parabens were found in breast cancer tumors. That possibility alone makes me want to be more cautious.

Here's an article with some interesting information:

"Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. The particular parabens were found in relative concentrations that closely parallel their use in the synthesis of cosmetic products. Parabens have also been found in almost all urine samples examined from a demographically diverse sample of U.S. adults."

Armed with all of this, I started looking through all of the products that I use on a daily basis. Almost every single product I use has at least one paraben listed in the ingredients. Even the yummy body cream I got for my daughter's eczema from Lush (a known earth friendly company) has two different parabens on the ingredient list.

Usually, they will be listed with the following prefix or suffix attached to paraben: methyl-, ethyl-, isobutyl. There are more but a good rule of thumb is that if you see the word paraben, think twice. The products on my shelf that were most likely to have parabens in the ingredient list were body lotions and cosmetics. Check yours out and let me know what you find!

1 comment:

wfbdoglover said...

To be honest, Ive been afraid to look at my products. I know my mom has told me about Parabens.

Today I looked at my Trader Joe's Refresh Citrus Shampoo with Vitamin C (only safe one) It does have propylparaben. So even that one has it... (sigh).

Have you heard of the new hair product line that came out with Kate Hudson? I saw it yesterday on The View, but it is $13's a bottle. I won't spend $13's a bottle for hair products.

Any suggestions?