Many skincare products, like lotions and toners, contain parabens, cancer causing preservatives known to harm health. A study conducted by Dr. Philippa Darbre has shown that parabens can cause minor health problems, like skin irritation and dermatitis, to major health problems like breast cancer. Another study conducted by a group of British researchers discovered traces of parabens in tumors of breast cancer patients. Yuck! That means you could be putting a tumor ingredient on your skin everyday!
Do you use a lotion or skincare product containing parabens, cancer causing preservative found in most skincare products? There’s a good chance you do. Nearly all lotions, exfoliators, shampoos, and other personal care products contain the deadly parabens. Go and check. Unless a product boldly claims “paraben-free,” it’s almost guaranteed to have it. The chemical can hide under many names. A few of its many pseudonyms include benzylparaben, isbutylparaben, and bonzonic acid.
Manufacturers began putting parabens in their products when they discovered how short the shelf life of lotion could be. When a lotion or similar product becomes contaminated with bacteria, terrible health problems occur. In the 1950s, some people were struck blind after using spoiled lotions. As soon as the government discovered the dangers of skincare products gone bad, it became law to add preservatives to lotions, exfoliators, and other similar items. Shelf life grew from a few short weeks to over 2 years. Parabens just happened to be the cheapest, most readily available preservative around, so that’s what was used. The dangers of parabens were not yet known.
Dangers of parabens uncovered
Many years later, it was discovered that parabens broke down into formaldehyde, a substance the FDA has said causes cancer. Formaldehyde just happens to be the same chemical dead bodies are preserved in.
Other studies, like Dr. Philippa’s study, showed the preservative caused minor health problems. Despite all the evidence connecting parabens, cancer and other health issues, they are still legal to put in skincare products.
Parabens, cancer causing preservative, should be banned, but they’re not. However, some companies have created products that will let you side step the dangers of parabens while still using quality lotions with long shelf lives. USANA’s Sense Skincare line of personal care products is one example. USANA has created a “self-preserving formula” that uses no artificial preservatives. They’re products are all natural, free from the dangers of parabens. There are many other paraben-free skincare products out in the market, as well. Look for them. They will boldly have the claim “paraben-free” on the label. It’s a claim the manufacturer will be proud to make.
If parabens, cancer, and general health concern you, you will definitely want to look into using a paraben-free skincare product, particularly if you use a lot of it. Parabens and cancer have been linked in numerous studies. Do your skin, and overall health, a favor and use only natural, paraben-free skincare products.
Sources: “Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours,” P. D. Darbre and others, Journal of Applied Toxicology, vol. 24 (2004) pages 5-13