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What Are Parabens and Should You Avoid Them?

Parabens and Skin Care Products

What Are Parabens?

Parabens are chemicals often utilized as preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products. The chemicals have been used in cosmetics since the 1920s because of their ability to prevent the growth of microbes, but there has been increasing concern over their safety due to their potential endocrine-disrupting effects. Studies have shown that parabens can be absorbed through the skin and accumulate in the body. While more research is needed, some people have made it a habit to choose paraben-free products whenever possible.

A quick run-down on parabens:

  • Parabens are used to extend the shelf life of cosmetics and skin care products, such as lipsticks, lotions, foundations and creams.
  • They act as antimicrobial agents by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in these products.
  • Companies utilize parabens to keep cosmetic products from spoiling quickly or going rancid.

There are different types of parabens. Not all are equally concerning, and some might be safer than others. Because parabens are widely used in personal care products, some people are wary of the potential health risks associated with their use.

How Do Parabens Work?

We mentioned above that parabens act as preservatives. The way they do this is by releasing acid into products, which helps suppress the growth of microorganisms that can cause spoilage and contamination over time. In addition, this acid helps protect the product from harmful bacteria and other forms of contamination, enabling it to remain safe for use. The acid released by parabens can also help maintain the product's color and scent, prolonging its overall life.

What Are the Most Common Parabens in Cosmetics?

The most common parabens used in cosmetic products include methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben and isopropylparaben. These parabens have many uses, including preserving stability and deodorizing scents in various beauty and skin care products. The most concerning are long-chain parabens, such as propylparaben and butylparaben, which are thought to be the most endocrine-disrupting. 

How Are Parabens Potentially Harmful to Humans and Marine Life?

Research has linked certain types of parabens — such as methylparaben — to potential health risks due to their ability to mimic the hormone estrogen in humans. Studies have found that high levels of exposure to parabens can lead to an increased risk for breast cancer due to increased estrogenic activity within the body. Furthermore, recent studies have also shown that long-term exposure to certain parabens may harm marine life because they can accumulate in fish tissues over time.

Potential Allergic Reactions to Methylparabens (a Type Of Paraben) in Skin Care Products

Some people may experience allergic reactions when using skin care products containing methylparaben. Symptoms may include itching, redness or irritation at the product's application area. People with sensitive skin should avoid using any skin care product containing parabens as they may cause additional discomfort or harm used regularly.

Is There a Link Between Parabens and Breast Cancer Development?

Paraben-free skincare products are becoming increasingly popular due to mounting evidence that parabens can cause harm. Studies have shown that these chemicals can lead to various allergic reactions and even disrupt the body's endocrine system, leading to estrogenic activity. 

In one study, parabens were found in the breast tissue of most women. Although parabens have not been found to directly cause breast cancer, studies like this have caused many women to choose to avoid parabens as much as possible. Fortunately, it’s easy to find out whether your favorite beauty products and hair care products contain parabens – just check the list of ingredients. 

Sorevna Produces Cruelty-Free, Paraben-Free Skin Care Products That Are Better for You and the Planet

At Sorevna, we want you to experience safe and natural beauty solutions without risking your health. That's why all our skin care products are paraben-free, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, and they contain no harsh chemicals. Our carefully crafted formulations provide lasting hydration for softer, smoother skin without any risks associated with toxic parabens.

Use coupon code WELCOME10 for 10% off your first order.


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