When you hear someone say paraben free, what exactly does that mean to you? To most, it means absolutely nothing at all. The reason I say that is simple. They haven’t taken the time to educate themselves to learn the meaning. When it comes to skin and body products, this might be one of the most important terms to be on the lookout for. Lucky for you, I’m about to break things down and show you the way.
What’s The Meaning Of Paraben Free Skin Care?
If you’re not familiar with the term paraben or paraben free, then you haven’t checked out your skin care labels lately. It’s an uber popular term and word that seems to be being used by millions of Americans alone. If you take the time to do a couple of searches on the Internet, you’ll notice that this is becoming more and more abundant in terms of consumers searching for the term online. I’m going to tell you exactly what parabens are and why it matters to know what they are and do. You’ll need to keep them in mind when thinking of both skin care products as well as hair care products.
Are there true benefits to using this ingredient or should you go 100% completely paraben free? These are all questions that you’ll want to ask yourself.
So, what exactly are parabens? Well, parabens are actually a group of chemicals which fall under one family. They come from benzoic acid and they are often used to preserve and extend the shelf life of foods, products, medicines, and cosmetics.
The main reason companies put parabens in their products is to prevent molds and bacteria from forming. The prevention helps extend product life and bacteria, as well as mold, are no good for consumers.
Where will you find these parabens? Well, most commonly in toothpaste, shampoos, skin products, cosmetics, perfumes, various foods and even drinks containing alcohol. It’s been said that almost all of the items in the grocery store contain parabens of some level even if an extremely small amount.
As far as the types of parabens round, it’s common for people to find the following in products:
Reasons People Avoid Parabens
There are many reasons why people avoid these ingredients. Sure, there are some benefits of incorporating this ingredient into a skin care product, but many feel that the benefits do not outweigh the costs.
Some researchers have gone as far as stating that parabens may be connected to the forming of breast cancer. Others have done research stating that parabens may impact things for pregnant women as using these products may cause birth defects and other issues.
There have been studies which showcase the negative effects on testosterone levels, sperm count, and breast cancer in males even for those exposed to parabens.
What other things can parabens possibly do to you? Well, it’s possible that they may be linked to causing allergic reactions to occur, most likely in younger children and people that may have extra sensitive skin issues. Some consumers have reported the presence of rosacea and dermatitis due to using products that contain parabens.
Given that people are having these issues, many companies have opted to shy away from product use with those containing the ingredient.
How Much Paraben-Containing Product Should You Consume?
This is a very controversial topic as there isn’t really any specific amount of paraben that you should expose yourself to. Given that it could harm your body, you’ll want to be careful when consuming it.
Due to the fact that everyone is different, you’ll want to be careful with this. My advice would be to try and avoid products that contain parabens if you want to possibly reduce the chances of developing health issues.
Some think that a small amount of exposure isn’t a bad thing. Others believe that you should avoid it completely. My advice personally is to avoid it as much as possible. If a product has this ingredient listed on the ingredients label as the top 3 products, then don’t touch it. That’s the way I roll.
Why People Choose A Paraben Free Skin Care Lifestyle
Here are the main reasons why people have adopted a paraben skin care routine and regimen.
Reduce Cancer Risk – Lots of people think that exposure to parabens increases the chances of developing cancer. For that reason alone, they’ve decided to avoid it entirely. If you want to reduce your chances of getting cancer, then stay away.
Reduce Reproduction Issues – People stay away from parabens in order to keep their sperm count up. Women avoid it to not have to deal with birth defects.
Reduce Irritation Issues – If you’re dealing with issues like red and itchy skin after using a skin care product, then it’s more than likely associated with parabens in products.
Reduce Hair Issues – Consumers shy away from parabens in hair products because it makes their hair look and feels bad. If you’re looking to eventually have clean, smooth, and shiny hair then you’re going to want to avoid parabens.
What Should You Use Then?
If you’re looking to use a brand that doesn’t contain parabens, then here are some ingredients that you can consider if you’re looking to remove parabens from your skin care routine entirely. My advice would be to start incorporating grapefruit seed extract, natural oils, natural herbs, vitamins, and even foods as a substitute for your traditional skin care products. There are plenty of alternatives to consider and this is what should always be in the back of your mind.
There are plenty of makeups out there that do not contain these and I suggest checking them out. Check out brands like Bare Minerals, Mun Beauty, and Tarte. There are also plenty of natural skin care brands out there that you can consider using. Brands such as Mahalo, CV Labs, and others all stay far away from this ingredient. If shampoos without parabens is what you’re looking for then check out Weleda, John Master’s Organics, and many other brands that are available at Whole Foods and Fresh Market.
If you’re still unsure what to think or do with regards to parabens and your current skin care routine, then I strongly suggest that you contact your dermatologist for help. Bring all of your products to your appointment and you’ll eventually weed out those which you should toss and keep those which you should continue to safely use.