Parabens came into the limelight with the pro natural movement. This is a good thing because it “conscientized the consumer to start looking at hair product labels.
What are Parabens?
Parabens are preservatives that are used in hair products, particularly water based products to increase the shelf life of the product by preventing disease causing pathogens from growing in the products. The nature of parabens is that they’re highly effective as a preservative but researchers have also found that in “high levels” or certain exposure levels can be carcinogenic. The truth about parabens is that they’re not only found in hair products, they’re also found in other cosmetics as well. Other cosmetics that one uses on a daily basis the may also contain parabens are body lotions, roll ons, face washes and make up, just to name a few. The most common parabens are found in cosmetics are methyl, ethyl and propyl parabens.
The ideal would be to forgo products that contain parabens completely, but this isn’t always possible. Preservative free products also come with their own issues and challenges, in that they tend to have a shorter shelf life therefore they spoil quickly thus potentially posing their own health risks as well. As a starting point one needs to look at all the labels of the cosmetic products and toiletries they use on a daily basis. Check to see how many of them actually contain parabens and from there start making wiser product choices to reduce and minimize exposure.