We all love our body and face care products and all those lovely eye shadow and lipstick shades. The packaging looks so inviting and the advertisements make them all just look so yummy that you can’t decide which delectable one to choose. Have you ever considered the fact that you might be harming your health by using them? It certainly came as a shock to me when I discovered just how many toxic ingredients I had been smearing all over me these many years. I am going to be doing a series of the ingredients in various products that have harmful effects on our bodies.
The first of the no-no’s I am going to cover is Parabens.
Parabens are used as a synthetic preservative in many different personal care products. These endocrine-disrupting chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, blood and the digestive system. Parabens act like estrogen in the body and can lead to fertility problems, increase your risk of breast cancer and affect fetal development. One study found that exposure to butylparaben during pregnancy and lactation alters the development of the reproductive organs and sperm production in baby boys. In addition to reproductive problems, parabens may also cause other issues for your baby
In another study, parabens led to anxiety and reduced learning performance in baby animals. But each person’s body responds differently, so this information serves simply as some scientific food for thought.
Applying personal care product containing parabens—especially methylparaben—can lead to UV-induced damage of skin cells and disruption of cell proliferation (cell growth rate). Daily application, in particular, can lead to increased concentrations of methylparaben because it is not completely metabolized. Parabens combined with other estrogenic chemicals may potentially influence the development of malignant melanoma, one form of skin cancer.
Parabens are used in soap, skincare, baby products, body care, hair care, toothpaste and deodorant.
How to identify on a label: alkyl parahydroxybenzoate, butylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparabens.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Read the ingredients labels to avoid products containing parabens. Many natural and organic cosmetics have alternative options to parabens to prevent microbial growth in personal care products. Some natural care products are preservative-free with a shorter shelf life. Choose products without any harmful chemicals to protect you and your family’s health.