What’s The Problem With Parabens?

If you wear cosmetics of any type, it’s only natural to be concerned about the substances you apply to your skin. Most of us assume that when a cosmetic ingredient is approved for use, it must be safe. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes data emerges many years down the line that calls into question the safety of a product. Recently, non-organic cosmetics have come under scrutiny for containing a group of chemicals known as parabens. Parabens in cosmetics are certainly nothing new although it’s been fairly recently that evidence has come forward that these cosmetic additives may be harmful to our health.

Exactly what are parabens and why are they used in cosmetics?

Parabens are a group of chemicals preservatives added to a variety of cosmetic products most of us use on a daily basis such as shampoos, toothpaste, deodorants, moisturizers, and other toiletries. They serve the useful purpose of keeping harmful bacteria from growing in products to which they’re added.

The reason parabens in cosmetics are of concern is because they’re thought to disrupt the endocrine system by behaving similarly to estrogen in the body. Having excess estrogen in the body can be a problem for a variety of reasons. First, excess estrogen is thought to be a factor in promoting the growth of some breast cancers in women.

A second way parabens in cosmetics may cause problems is by affecting testosterone secretion in males and lowering sperm counts which could affect fertility. Although men generally wear fewer cosmetics than women they can still be exposed through the use of shampoos, toothpaste, and deodorants.

Parabens in cosmetics are particularly concerning since it appears that these substances readily penetrate the skin and can accumulate in body tissues without being broken down. If this is true, the average person could be accumulating a significant quantity of paraben compounds just by washing their hair, brushing their teeth, and applying deodorant. Not to mention the myriad array of cosmetics most women use on a daily basis. Products such as deodorants and cosmetics are of particular concern since they remain on the skin once applied in contrast to shampoos that remain on the hair for only a short period of time before being washed away.

Should you change you change the products you use on a daily basis to avoid parabens or is the problem overstated?

If at all possible, parabens in cosmetics should be avoided when a suitable alternative exists. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the use of paraben in cosmetics and many organic and natural cosmetic manufacturers are adopting a no paraben policy. If you’re concerned about parabens in your cosmetic products, be sure to read the label and go organic whenever possible.

At La Lune Naturals we are happy to supply you with products that are made of only natural ingredients so you don’t have to worry. We want you to feel good about what you’re putting on your skin. To shop all of our products click here.

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