In a world where we’re becoming aware of what we eat, it’s no surprise that we should be equally aware of the ingredients in our skincare and haircare and what we put on our face and hair.

‘Paraben-free’ has become a buzzword, and more and more people are scanning the beauty aisles to pick products that do not contain parabens. But the question is…What are parabens? Do they cause harm to your health? Do you need to avoid them?

It’s a beauty myth that we’ve all commonly accepted without knowing much about them. Which is why we are here to tell you what they actually are and why we should be boycotting them…

What are parabens?

Parabens are a type of preservative, first introduced in the 1950s. They are used in personal care products to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing in the products, increasing the products’ shelf life. 

Why are parabens thought to be bad for us?

Parabens allow products to survive for months, even years, in our cabinet.  

Researchers found that parabens get easily absorbed by your skin, and they stay in your body tissues and fluids. Researchers also detected parabens in breast milk, serum, urine, and seminal fluid. Parabens were also detected in the breast tissues of patients with breast cancer

A study found traces of five parabens in the breast tissue of 19 out of 20 women studied. The study didn’t prove that parabens can cause cancer but identified that the parabens were able to penetrate the skin and remain within tissue.

Parabens are believed to disrupt hormone function by mimicking oestrogen. Too much oestrogen can trigger an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumours, which is why paraben use has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.

Why are parabens bad for the environment?

Parabens aren’t just bad for humans, they impact the environment too. A scientific study reported that parabens have been found for the first time in the bodies of marine mammals. Researchers believe that it is likely these parabens come from products we use that are washed into the sewage system and released into the environment.

The conclusion?

Make an educated decision about what you put on your skin. Always browse through the product ingredients before buying a product and know the implications of each ingredient that you are applying on your skin and hair.

Make the world a better place, for you and for the environment.