Parabens. This word is everywhere lately! We see it on labels of products. Companies are putting “paraben free” in their marketing. But what are they? And why are companies highlighting the absence of them in their products?
Parabens are any compound or group of chemicals used to preserve a product by stopping or slowing the growth of mold and/or bacteria. This sounds great, but it is the side effects that consumers are concerned with. Here are the fast facts:
Parabens Fast Facts
The Good in Parabens
- What it is: a preservative used in products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria.
- Most often found in cosmetics to increase shelf life.
The Bad in Parabens
- They are easily absorbed through the skin.
- They mimic estrogen in the body and are known endocrine (hormone) system disruptors.
- Believed to cause breast cancer and/or accelerate tumor growth, and negatively affect male fertility.
- Methylparaben scores a 4 on the EWG Skin Deep Database (Moderate safety hazard).
- The FD&C Act (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act) does not require any cosmetic products or their ingredients (with the exception of color additives) to receive FDA approval before being sold.
The lack of regulations on harmful ingredients in cosmetics is alarming considering the potential dangers of using them. Fortunately, many companies are listening to consumers. There are many new or improved products that are free from parabens on the market. This is often listed right on the front of a label as a highlight of the product, or on the back label.
But, how do you know if a product contains parabens? If the label doesn’t state it is paraben free, you can easily spot them on the ingredients label. They are any ingredient that ends with “paraben”. A few examples to watch out for are ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben.
What I Did To Eliminate Parabens
Switching out products containing parabens for safer options is easy. And, it can make a big difference for your family and their health. All High Heeled Homemaker products are made without preservatives, including parabens. Our goal is to provide a safe and effective product with the least amount of ingredients. Creating a concentrated product without water allows us to achieve this.
I personally went through every product in our house my family puts on their skin/body and read the labels. I found ingredients that ended with “paraben” and then threw them away.
Steps You Can Take
Do you feel overwhelmed in the thought of finding safe products for your family? The average man uses 6 personal care products daily. Women use 12 products a day on average. When you add that up for a whole family, it can be a lot of products in one household! Here are simple steps you can take now.
- First, I realize that switching out all your personal care products at once can be expensive and doesn’t work for every family. Instead, try to replace your current products with safer options when they run out.
- Next, increase your budget so you can afford safer quality products. Give up one movie night, coffee, or extra purchase. It may cost an extra dollar or two for a safer product. But what you are not calculating is the cost of risking your family’s health to save a few bucks.
- Finally, if higher quality safe products don’t fit in your budget, find some DIY recipes online. They are often less expensive and work just as well. Plus, you know exactly what is in each product.
In conclusion, we shouldn’t have to choose between safety, efficacy, and affordability. Especially when it comes to what we put on our bodies. There are many great options available today. Do your research and make a simple change that can have lasting impact on your family.