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! * LolaStar Hearts | UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog * !: Ingredient Watch: Parabens

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ingredient Watch: Parabens

‘Paraben’ is definitely a buzzword in the beauty blogosphere, but as usual it’s a word that I only became familiar with when I started LolaStarHearts. So what are parabens, and why do we hate them?

Simply speaking, parabens are chemical preservatives mainly used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries to fight bacteria and fungus. You’ll find parabens in a wide range of your day-to-day products, such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorants, moisturisers and makeup.

They’re widely used because they are very cheap to make – essentially, the cheaper the items cost to manufacture, the more they can produce and the cheaper they can sell them for. But it comes at a cost.

Parabens have been found to mimic a hormone called estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development on breast cancer. Say what?! ‘They’ [whoever they are!] also found parabens in breast tumours, and believe that there’s definitely some sort of link. Unaltered parabens found in the breast cancer tissue of study participants showed that the chemical is able to penetrate the skin and remain in breast tissue.

Going through my bathroom is was shocked to see how many of my favourite products actually contain one or two of the four most used parabens – ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben.

Now the argument goes both ways, there have been studies from both sides and none have been conclusive. And of course parabens go on the list of everything else that may cause cancer – being black (just my luck, eh?!), bacon, toasters, jewellery, kissing, the list goes on … – honestly I’m not joking!

A lot of the things in the list I just mentioned have links to cancerous tumours, but I take them with a pinch of salt. When it comes to parabens I try to do the same thing, but I also make a conscious effort to buy products that don’t contain them – no point in tempting fate!

Where do you stand on the paraben debate?

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At August 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM , Anonymous Kayleigh Giles-Johnson said...

It's true - life causes cancer. The list is never ending so you do have to take it with a pinch of salt! I tend not to avoid parabens in everything but my deodorant because of the links with breast cancer - obviously under the arms is the quickest way they can get to breast tissue and it's something that you use everyday.

At August 29, 2012 at 12:14 PM , Anonymous Eli said...

Great post! I absolutely share your opinion, in spite of the raging debates and overly obsessed paraben-fighters :D

At August 29, 2012 at 1:24 PM , Anonymous Louise said...

I try to avoid parabens but if I really want something and it's got them in it then it won't stop me buying it haha! Same as for SLSs, if things are paraben- and SLS-free then it's a huge bonus but not a necessity. xx

At August 30, 2012 at 8:49 PM , Anonymous Lola Omokorede said...

Same here - I try to look for an alternative that doesn't have parabens but if there isn't then I still buy. Some of my favourites have parabens in them! :(

At August 30, 2012 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous Lola Omokorede said...

I applaud people that can completely avoid them, but I don't have that will power. I try, but they're not completely avoidable! x

At August 30, 2012 at 9:13 PM , Anonymous Lola Omokorede said...

Same here, the few products I have that have parabens in them aren't used under my arms!

At September 2, 2012 at 7:29 AM , Anonymous Mimi Writes said...

thanks so much for this post! i definitely learned a lot about parabens, i didn't know a lot of these things.

<3, Mimihttp://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/Mile End Bakery Giveaway: Win a dozen cookies of your choice!Open internationally: Win a set of temporary tattoos!


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