Making Sense Out of the Paraben Controversy in Skin Care Products

There’s a lot of controversy these days about parabens in skin care products. Parabens, used as a preservative, are found in cosmetics, lotions, deodorants, shampoos, tanning products and so much more.

Parabens fight against bacteria and fungus. It has also been widely chosen because it is so low cost for the manufacturer.

Over time, there has been a lot of heated discussion as to whether or not parabens are causing negative side effects to its users. While some reports claim there are potential serious health connections others are conveying the opposite.

This controversy has sparked some skin care and cosmetic manufacturers to produce products without parabens.

A handful of manufacturers have a selection of paraben-free skin care items.

There are many types of parabens on the market but the most prominent ones in skin care and cosmetics include:

  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Butylparaben

More times than not more than one paraben will be in a product.

While some research indicates that parabens can negatively affect the endocrine system, other data is showing how parabens may faintly imitate estrogen. This has caused estrogen concern because this is the hormone linked to breast cancer.

To date, it is important to note that there has been no reported correlation between parabens and cancer.

A visit to the United States Food & Drug Administration actually has a page for consumers about parabens in products.

One portion of it reads, “FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens.”

It goes on to say that if this viewpoint changes, it will move forward to protect the health and welfare of its consumers.

The page also points out that generally parabens used in cosmetics fluctuate from 0.01 to 0.3 percent. According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, up to 25 percent of methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben are deemed safe for usage.

Despite these number and statistics, there are consumers out there that refuse to purchase skin care products and cosmetics with paraben ingredients.

Another interesting paraben controversial twist has been in anti-aging product world.

A research program conducted by the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan discovered that the methylparabens in anti-aging products had the ability to accelerate skin aging. According to this research group, skin exposed to methyl was more sensitive to ultra violet rays and more skin cells were perishing at a faster rate.

Finding out if parabens are in a cosmetic is fairly easy. Since there are so many variations of this manmade chemical, the word paraben will always follow at the end of the word in the ingredients.

Another great online research resource place to visit is the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. They have large database with paraben information on many products.

There is so much data out there everyone can educate themselves on what is best for their own lifestyle choices. And top of the line skin care manufacturers have created products for any paraben free wish list.