Parabens have been causing quite the controversy in the recent decade. From studies showing links to cancer, to some countries instigating outright bans against it, it’s definitely been making headlines. But what exactly is it and is it really that bad for you?
Parabens’ first appearance in food grade items and cosmetics was in 1930 when scientists realized that products that may require being stored for a while need some sort of protection against bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms.
What they discovered is that parabens are easy to make, hypoallergenic (fun fact: there has only been about 1 reported case of paraben allergy since their creation and distribution), and incredibly inexpensive to make. This resulted in a large portion of the products we use today containing some sort of paraben as a preservative and antibacterial agent.
The most common forms of parabens are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isopropylparaben and isobutylparaben. As a whole, they are used around in 44% of consumer products today. This includes everything from beer, sauces, desserts, soft drinks, jams, pickles, frozen dairy products, processed vegetables, flavorings syrups, makeup, shampoo and conditioner, and shaving products. Parabens have even been found in blueberries as a naturally occurring preservative.
Because of their recent and extensive scrutiny, the FDA and CDC are required to test and report paraben amounts and side effects in consumer products every quarter and are now scrambling to find replacements. This task has been anything but easy. Parabens are a gentle chemical whereas some of the new replacement preservatives can be harsher and more dangerous in larger quantities.
So what started all the commotion about parabens in the first place? What was the cause of all the concern?
It turns out parabens were found in breast cancer cells, which led some scientists to publish research that construed that parabens were the cause of the cancer. This resulted in huge public backlash.
The truth is, large quantities may trigger estrogen disruption, which causes hormonal fluctuations. But more recent studies have found that because of the parabens’ membrane solubility it’s likely that that’s the reason why they were present in the cancer cells, not because they were actually the cause of the cancer itself.
Finally, we can rest easy knowing that parabens do not cause cancer and only cause estrogen disruption in very high quantities, much more than the average person consumes in their lifetime.
Here at Skintherapy, we take great measures to make our skincare products not only safe, but effective and gentle. We want to make sure you are always getting the most out of your products.
While most of our products contain preservatives that are not parabens, we do want you as a consumer to be aware of what ingredients that may adversely affect your skin if you suffer with acne. So we have compiled this list for you.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at 801-800-6602. If you are ready to get started on our game changing skin routine and products, book your appointment here.