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The 101 on Parabens

The 101 on Parabens

We hear a lot about Parabens today and how our skincare, bodycare and haircare should be Paraben free. But what exactly are Parabens? Why are they not good for you? We’re here to give you a little 101 on Parabens so that the next time you do go shopping you are able to find them on ingredient lists yourself.

What are Parabens?

Have you ever wondered why your beauty products shelf lives are fairly long? It is because of preservatives that make sure your products don’t grow mould and become unsafe to use. Parabens are the most popular preservatives in the industry and they were commercialized in the 1950s. Since many beauty products contain water, preservatives are important to prevent the growth of bacteria which would then cause all sorts of nasties in your products.

Ok, so they are needed to keep our products strong. But why do we not like them?

To understand this we need to go back to 2004 Reading University in the UK. A study was made at that time that linked breast cancer to parabens. They studied many women with breast cancer. 19 out of 20 women found 5 types of parabens in their breast tissues. The study found that parabens were mimicking oestrogen. When our bodies have too much oestrogen, our hormones are disrupted and can also increase breast tissues. This increase in breast tissues can become a tumour or cancerous. There is another side to this as well which is the environment. Parabens are not helping the environment either, as these preservatives have also been found inside of marine animals via sewage.

Hold on aren’t their sceptics who aren’t completely sold on the university studies?

Yes, there are and the main issue the sceptics have with the studies is that it wasn’t a control group. Other independent studies have occurred and many of them such as the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (an independent group of chemists) and Scientific Committee On Consumer Products have said there is nothing to worry about when it comes down to parabens as the parabens that are used in beauty products are a minimal quantity.

The Verdict and what you should be looking out for.

At MissPalettable even if there is a slight truth to the studies, we would rather take precautions than use products with Parabens. There must be a reason why the EU has put restrictions on several forms of parabens (butylparaben, isopropylparaben) found in beauty products.

At the end of the day, it’s your personal decision and if you are a sceptic than do your research and make your choices.

If you are a believer of the studies than you need to look out for parabens in the ingredient lists of the products you use. Look out for ingredients that end with “parabens”. They come in all forms and some examples are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben.

We have a few more blogs coming up on different ingredients to look out for. If you do have questions regarding certain ingredients feel free to get in touch with us! Below are all the different ways you can.




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