Apr 30, 2012
Are parabens in skincare bad for you? I've noticed many men's products contain more than 1 type of paraben, so I'm not sure if it's really bad for the skin. Are men's faces supposed to be that rough?
Parabens are preservatives used in nearly every kind of cosmetic. They are put in formulas in small amounts to prevent growth of disease causing microbes. Without preservatives, cosmetics would be much more dangerous to use. Parabens have been in cosmetics for the last 20 years.
Risks posed from Parabens are so small that its not worth worrying about. There are more critical things like you can do to keep from getting cancer, like not smoking, avoiding excessive sun exposure, exercising regularly and eating well balanced, low fat diet. Don’t waste your time fretting about the preservatives in your cosmetics.
Why are there different kinds of Parabens in products?
Since each Paraben is chemically different, it kills microbes to a different degree. The chemical differences in Parabens also mean that they have different compatibilities with water and oil. Creams and lotions are made up both of water and oil so different preservatives have to be used for each phase.
The bottom line
Multiple types of Parabens are used in formulas to ensure that your personal care and cosmetics products are as free as possible from disease causig microbes. They make products safe from spoilage and prevent the spread of disease.
Exactly as Khatija said, the risk of disease or infection from a paraben-free product outweighs the risk of parabens. remember that every time you use any product you are transferring bacteria from the environment and your skin into the product.
thank you so much Khatija and Angela! this was extremely helpful.
Parabens have been in use in products, not just cosmetics, since, I read somewhere (can't remember where), at least the 1930s, and they were proven safe even then. They're the safest form of cosmetic preservative there is. (Also: there are a couple of them that are naturally-derived.) In fact, they're safe in concentrations all the way up to 25 percent. The concentration used in most cosmetics is less than one percent.
Good ingredient source ~ http://cosmetics-info.org
thank you shelly! the website is great. I can't believe I didn't know about it sooner! Cheers.
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