What are Parabens?
Parabens are a class of preservatives. Chemically, they are a series of parahydroxybenzoates and esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid.
Concerns about parabens come from a growing overall awareness of the use of endocrine disruptors in cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. Endocrine disruptors are active agents in foods or topicals that mimic hormones in our bodies. Endocrine disruptors can interfere with our endocrine system therefore putting us at an increased risk of developing cancers.
Parabens are effective preservatives in many formulas, from makeup to body wash to creams. However, these parabens they can be damaging to the organism with excessive use. It is difficult to regulate our intake when they are found in so many products.
Parabens can elevate cellular level damage caused by UV exposure, which can lead to skin cancer. They can also sensitize our skin thereby causing allergic reactions and contact dermatitis.
Certain Parabens have even been banned in the EU (European Union), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), & in Japan, especially in pediatric products.
The parabens that are most commonly used in cosmetics are butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. Check your products for ingredients ending in “paraben”. Be wary, sometimes the parabens can be listed with other seemingly innocuous names such as benzoic acid, butyl ester, methyl ester, or propyl ester, among others.
The longer-chain parabens, propyl- and butyl-, are linked to stronger estrogenic activity. Be sure to look out for those ingredients in your skincare products.
As a breast cancer warrior, I made my TESCosmetics products paraben free.