Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. Sounds good, right? Not so fast, they do more than that. Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. They can be found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers. You can also find them in food and pharmaceutical products.
There are thousands of chemicals in your products, many of which are being absorbed into your body. These companies have cart blanche to use any ingredient or raw material without government review or approval.
This industry is highly unregulated. There is no pre-product approval before a product hits the market and enters your home. A minuscule approval process exists, but only for color additives and ingredients classified as over-the-counter drugs.
Many of these synthetic chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disrupters and are carcinogenic. So next time your are about to hit the makeup and cosmetic counter, watch out for these:
- Methylparaben (Methyl-4-hydroxybenzoate)
- Ethylparaben (Ethyl-4-hydroxybenzoate)
- Propylparaben (Propyl-4-hydroxybenzoate)
- Butylparaben (Butyl-4-hydroxybenzoate)