Parabens: What Are They and Why Should You Avoid Them?
April 3, 2023
What parabens are:
Parabens are used to prevent bacteria and fungi from forming in personal care products like moisturizers, lipstick, foundation, concealer, soaps, shampoo, anti-wrinkle creams and other topical skincare products and ointments. They’re an ester compound formed from alcohol and organic acid. Parabens are listed in some of your favorite products under various names, including methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben. They’ve been used as a preservative in products for over 70 years but now researchers are concerned that they may cause serious health issues.
Why you should avoid them:
Known as endocrine disruptors, parabens are a chemical that can increase the production of certain hormones and decrease the production of others because of their ability to mimic hormones in the body. By interfering with hormone signals and accumulating in organs that produce hormones, they cause disruption in the normal functioning of the body. As a result, they’ve been linked to an increase in breast cancer rates, reproductive toxicity, irritations and allergic reactions.
Manufacturers contend that they’re found in trace amounts, and therefore not enough to harm the body. But today, these trace amounts add up because parabens are found in so many personal care products used on a daily basis. And therefore research has shown that over time with continued exposure to parabens, as the saying goes: too much of something can be bad for you!
Since parabens can be found in many personal care products used daily, it is hard to cut them out completely. However, it is a good idea to reduce your exposure when possible by choosing more natural skincare, body and makeup products that are free of parabens. It will either say it on the label or read the list of ingredients.
Where parabens can be found:
Shampoo Facial Scrub Lotions
Conditioner Facial Cleansers Shower Gel
Deodorant Makeup Toothpaste
Eye Cream Shaving Creams Sunscreen
There are many skincare and beauty manufacturers that are addressing consumer concerns about parabens. All of Zax's Original Products are paraben free. Make sure to stock your cosmetic bags, skincare collection and medicine cabinets with products that are safe for your skin and health.
Written by Alyssa Rolnick, Co-Founder of Zax’s Original Products, Registered Dietitian and Mother of 3 active kids.