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Cosmetics Ingredient to Avoid: Parabens

Cosmetics Ingredient Alert: Parabens

While the FDA claims parabens are safe, this chemical preservative is still quite controversial. Used in shampoos, moisturizers, and even toothpaste, parabens are considered hormonally disruptive by many environmental-health scientists. This chemical is known as a weak estrogen mimic and has been found in trace amounts in biopsied breast cancer tumors. There are many alternative cosmetics preservatives, and two are derived from a couple of my favorite substances: sugar and milk. Enzymes from these two popular foods absorb oxygen in order to prevent bacterial growth. Look for the sugar enzyme glucose oxidase or the milk enzyme lactoperoxsidase on the ingredient list of your face wash, conditioner, and moisturizer. Burt's Bees makes paraben free products, including shampoo, as does Jason Natural. When it comes to your long term health, it pays to be a label reader of shampoo too.


OhMyDragonflys OhMyDragonflys 8 years
This is scary!
La-Tua-Cantante La-Tua-Cantante 8 years
I started avoiding these and other chemicals a few years ago. But it's just sometimes hard to find good quality products that are junk-free. And also a lot of the natural brands of beauty products and makeup are crazy expensive. I wish they'd make it easier/more affordable to find chemical-free products!
lolababy575 lolababy575 8 years
I've had sensitive skin for a long time and after a few years, I realized that using paraben-free products helped immensely, especially when it comes to lotions. Burt's Bees has great products for skin but I really prefer Aveda for hair products.
1apple 1apple 8 years
I read a few of my lotion and shampoo labels last night...this stuff is in everything! I'm just starting to research on chemicals so that I can avoid as many iffy ones while trying to conceive and during pregnancy after hearing a podcast about the book Poisioned Profits.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's so frustrating to hear about things like this. you want to think that if something is FDA approved that it's not going to be harmful to you - but that's not always the case. especially when there's a preservative in SO MANY products that we use - it's just not a great thought..
Advah Advah 8 years
Akshu - try L'Occitane. They have a few products that are paraben-free (a saleswoman once advised me to keep my moisturiser in the fridge during the summer, because where I used to live is super hot from May-Sept, and some stuff might go off without paraben).
akshu akshu 8 years
Fit What stuff do you use on your face? cleanser/moisturizer/toner etc? I tried Kiss my face, I heard it was organic and 97% natural, but it totally broke my face out. :(
GratefulOne GratefulOne 8 years
it makes me SO mad that so many companies are still using this ingredient
Advah Advah 8 years
I tried to get paraben-free stuff as much as possible; it's not always that easy, sadly! Also, I really recommend Burt's Bees' shampoos/conditioners, they're great. :)
Allytta Allytta 8 years
there's no scientific proof they're harmful. stop speculating.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Good to know... I don't think this is in any of the products I use though.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Good to know. I always wondered what they used in paraben-free products to preserve them so they wouldn't get contaminated with bacteria so easily.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I always buy paraben free although I didn't know it was in shampoo and conditioner, I always thought it was just lotion.
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