Choosing safe and sustainable skin care products has a cardinal role to play in your skin, hair, and overall health.There are a lot of ingredients that go into making any cosmetic or personal care product. Surprisingly, some commonly used skin ingredients are not only unsafe for your skin and hair but also carry risks to your inner health. In recent years, parabens have become a major buzzword in the skin care industry. Parabens are basically used in a wide range of products all over the world. For more than 50 years, parabens have been used in cosmetic products. However, with recent researches, a lot of details about them have been uncovered. Recent studies have shown the ill effects of parabens resulting in widespread awakening about the safety of parabens.
What are parabens?
Parabens are preservatives used in a large number of cosmetics, personal hygiene and pharmaceutical products. Parabens help to increase the shelf life of products by preventing the growth of bacteria, mold, or fungus in a product.
How to recognize parabens?
If you want to know if the product is paraben-free, you can read the list of ingredients on the packaging of any product. You can easily identify parabens by these names - Methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben.
Why is it good to avoid parabens?
- Health risks
- Negative impact on the environment
- Can trigger allergic reactions
- Unhealthy for hair and scalp
1. Health risks
The biggest side effect of paraben is it can penetrate your skin and reach the bloodstream. In 90’s it was discovered that parabens are xenoestrogens – these are compounds that act like estrogen hormone in your body. This means that the body confuses parabens with estrogen. Now this state of ‘estrogen disruption’ is linked to breast cancer as well as reproduction-related issues.
2. Negative impact on the environment
Parabens are not only harmful to your body and skin but have also been found responsible for causing environmental toxicity. Many scientific research studies claimed that parabens are detected in soil from agricultural fields, and in the river and drinking water sources. Furthermore, lab tests have shown that butylparaben can kill corals. Personal skin care products are liable for the continuous release of parabens into the environment. Parabens as a chemical is perceived as an emerging contaminant.
3. Can trigger allergic reactions
Parabens have been reported to trigger allergic reactions on your skin. It is one of the harmful chemicals that you should consider avoiding in skin care products. Prolonged use of skin care products containing parabens can increase the risk of contact dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition that damages your skin barrier and makes your skin red, dry, and extremely itchy. A research study has found that a high concentration of methylparaben in skin care products increases the skin aging process. While buying products for your skin, make sure that it is paraben-free.
4. Unhealthy for hair and scalp
Your hair shampoos are one of the most common products that contain parabens. Using hair shampoo and conditioner that contain parabens can wreak havoc on your scalp and hair. Parabens can bring scalp irritations along with causing hair loss.
Why are parabens still in use?
The research regarding parabens is few and more scientific studies are needed to determine the safety of parabens. There have been studies that have uncovered that parabens have very weak estrogenic effects. This could mean that parabens are harmless when used in tiny quantities. However, many believe that exposure to parabens for several years; even in small quantities, will result in ill effects of the same. Nevertheless, with the lack of proper research in the field, parabens continue to be used widely in all kinds of beauty products like moisturizers, hand creams, body lotions, shampoos, conditioners, etc.
To be sure and to take caution with regards to your health, it is suggested that you stop using products that contain unsafe ingredients. Instead, you must start looking for products that do not contain questionable ingredients like parabens. We understand, most of you want to improve your skin and hair problems to attain the hair and skin you always dreamt of. But while dealing with your concerns, don't keep slathering skin ingredients on your skin, without knowing their pros and cons. Mend certain mistakes that you commit unconsciously and head towards healthier skin and hair care goals.
Many research studies have revealed that you should avoid using skin and hair care products that have the highest concentration of sulphates. The biggest issue with sulphates is their strong cleansing action can cause skin irritation, especially in people with acne-prone or sensitive skin types. Sulphates in shampoo can strip away natural oils from your scalp which leads to rough, dry, and damaged hair. On the other hand, sulphate free products are considered safe for your skin and hair.