Are you the kind of person that checks the ingredients listed on your skin care products and wonders what some of them even are? Today we give you a crash course on the “paraben-free” moniker, and why it is important to know about these potentially harmful ingredients that are found in many industrially produced beauty products.
First discovered by scientists in the 1920’s, parabens were found to be effective in stopping the growth of fungus, bacteria and other microbes. In the 1950’s parabens were introduced in commercial applications as a preservative in a wide range of health, beauty and personal care products. Commonly used parabens include: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and heptylparaben, so check to see if they appear anywhere in the ingredients list of your favourite products.
While they are good preservatives and allow these product to last months or even years on your shelves, these chemicals also are absorbed by the skin when you use your products. The paraben concentration found in each individual product may meet the limits set by regulators, but public health advocates are concerned that the cumulative exposure from the use of several different products could be overloading our bodies and contributing to a variety of health problems. Parabens have been associated with dermatitis, rosacea and other irritations in people with sensitive skin. Additionally, because the chemical mimics estrogen they can increase breast cell division and the growth of tumours, which is why it has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. In fact a 2004 British study found traces of five parabens in the breast tissue of 19/20 of breast cancer patients reviewed.
The good news is that regulators have begun to take steps to phase out these potentially harmful preservatives, and that there are plenty of alternatives available. We as consumers will need to be more mindful of the ingredients in our products. Paraben alternatives include: phenoxyethanol, diazolidinyl urea, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and benzethonium chloride. To go a step further and keep your products more “clean” look for naturally occurring preservatives in the ingredients of your products such as grapefruit seed extract, thyme essential oil, rosemary, oregano, and tea tree extract among many others.
As for how this news relates to Nat’s products? Feel confident using them. All our products are paraben-free as we use 100% organic ingredients. Our use of natural ingredients ensures not only great moisturizing properties, but also a chemical free formulation that can be safely used by people with sensitive skin and confidently applied by those concerned with the unintended side effects of man-made components.