How to identify parabens in shampoo? Should you be worried? We are surrounded by exposure to chemicals everyday.
All About Parabens In Shampoo
Table of contents:
- 5 Important Facts About Parabens
- Some History Of Parabens
- Why Are People Afraid Of Parabens?
- 3 Great Paraben Free Shampoo Alternatives
It can be virtually impossible to avoid them all. Beauty products have come a long way away from the “more chemicals the better” model thanks to consumer demand but they still have a way to go.
Parabens are chemicals that are used for two reasons. They are used as a preservative and they are used to marry two chemicals together. They are often used in shampoos to extend the shelf life of the shampoo and to help mix the ingredients in the shampoo.
You may read these names on your shampoo label; Butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben because they are the most commonly used parabens. These chemicals have been used in beauty and hygiene products since the 1950’s. So whats the problem?
Parabens in shampoo – 5 Important Facts
#1. Estrogen Link:
There are a couple of problems with parabens in shampoo that were not really discovered until the 1990’s. The first is the most interesting. These chemicals in the Paraben family are processed by the body as if they were estrogen. They are considered xeonestrogen.
Estrogen disruption of the natural process in the body have been linked to breast cancer.As a matter of fact a study in 2004 done in the UK found that Parabens were actually present in a breast cancer tumor.
In lay terms there has been a link between Parabens and breast cancer that has been taken very seriously. A call has gone out worldwide to reduce the level of Parabens in all beauty products.
There are some critics of the study that contend the study was not done accurately because healthy breast tissue was not tested to see if there were Parabens present in the healthy breast tissue however there was Parabens present in the breast cancer tumor which is something to consider.
Some medical professionals argue that the World Health Organization and the United States Food and Drug Administration both state that Parabens used in small doses is completely safe.
The study still stands so regardless of what either organization has to say about Parabens the fact remains that they are known carcinogens. They also trick your body into thinking that they are estrogen which upsets the natural order of things in your body.
#2. Rashes and Other Skin Irritations:
If you find yourself breaking out in a rash or just generally suffering from skin irritation you may want to consider switching to a Paraben free shampoo. It is well documented that parabens are skin irritants. People with sensitive skin should be using a Paraben free shampoo.If you have unexplained hair loss the Parabens may be at fault. If you develop a reaction to the chemicals in your shampoo hair loss is very possible.
#3. Early Onset Puberty:
There is some indication that Parabens can actually trigger early onset puberty because of the Xenoestrogen effect it has on the body. Several studies that looked at the early maturation of children have concluded that Paraben may be one of the triggers after years of continued exposure.
#4. Bad Hair Day?
Paraben has also been linked to actually causing dry dull, brittle hair because it can tear apart the cuticle covering the hair shaft. So the shampoo that you have been using that is supposed to get your hair shiny clean is actually working against you! One too many bad hair days may mean that you should switch to shampoo that is Paraben free!
#5. Better Options:
While there is quite a bit of hype about whether Parabens in shampoo is a health risk factor as the debate rings on you have to ask yourself is it really worth the risk? The goal is to have clean healthy hair, not to expose yourself and your family to chemicals that may or may not cause you harm.
It is after all hair we are talking about here. Why would you want to take the risk? While the scientist hammer out their theories it is probably best to opt for a Paraben free product just to stay on the safe side of things.
Paraben has no benefit to your hair. It is not a chemical that you will miss. The only benefit it has is to keep shampoo active longer on the shelf. The benefit is to the shampoo manufacturer not to the consumer.
Exposing yourself and your family to chemicals that can potential cause something as severe as breast cancer or even a rash. There are better options that are chemical free that you do not have to worry about.
Better options will give you the same results without the threat of serious disease. Parabens in shampoo may turn out to be “no big deal” but while the jury is out and you do have other choices you are better off making one of the other choices!
Some History About Parabens
Less then 50 years ago, leaded gasoline was all the rage. Lead in gasoline helped to create more efficient fuel that was easier to transfer and use. Despite all the warnings over the past 2 millennia regarding lead, millions of American cars used this gasoline.
It took nearly two decades before action was taken to stop putting lead in gasoline, leading to countless Americans getting sick and even dying due to lead exposure.
In the United States and European Union, there is a system that stops harmful products from being mass distributed. However, as the above example illustrates, harmful chemicals and metals can find their way past regulation and cause health concerns.
This is one reason why many people are concerned about Paraben. An ingredient within many shampoos, hair conditioners and beauty supplies, Paraben is now being questioned because of theoretical links between it and a number of health problems in men and women.
As a result, Paraben free shampoo has exploded in the market place, taking advantage of fear and possible health concerns to provide a product free of this chemical. To help get to the bottom of this problem, lets examine Paraben, and take a moment to explain what it is. In addition, we will take a look at Paraben free shampoos.
What Are Parabens And Why Are They In Shampoo?
Parabens are the most frequently used preservatives in the world of personal care products. As a preservative, they help hold together the various mixtures we use.
This helps keep the personal care products lasting longer before they go bad, as well as retain whatever desired texture they were given. Finally, they help things like pests, fungus, and bacteria from growing in the personal care products you use daily.
Because of this incredibly useful role, Parabens have found themselves in a number of useful roles, including your shampoos. As this is the way in which people most come in contact with Parabens, it is the leading target for the anti-Paraben movement.
As a result, here is now high quality Paraben free shampoos and hair conditioners on the market.
Instead of using Paraben as a preservative, they use another of a wide range of chemical preservatives instead. The particular kind of preservative used will depend on the particular shampoo manufacturer.
Why Are People Afraid Of Parabens?
Paraben shares a chemical formula similar to estrogen. In that way, it is feared to replace estrogen in the body. When chemicals have done this in the past, they have led to a wide range of health problems in people, including increased risks of cancer. Parabens have a minor estrogenic effect, raising fears that they may be causing widespread health damages.
In addition, Paraben has two OH side groups in its chemical formula. An OH group is also known as an Alcohol, and having two of these is often seen in things that mimic estrogen in the human body.
While the design of Paraben is similar to other things that hurt the human body, not all chemicals with OH pairs are harmful. In fact, the chemical composition of some parts of wood have the same OH pairing in them, and they are not harmful to people at all.
The biggest problem with Paraben is that we do not know how much of a risk it may pose. Sufficient research regarding Paraben has yet to be done. As a result, we are not sure if it is truly bad for us or if it is perfectly harmless.
In addition, we have to consider that not everyone is the same. While Paraben may be bad for me, it may be perfectly fine for your body. Until research is done regarding what Paraben does and how much of a tolerance our bodies have, nothing will be known for sure.
What Are Some Paraben Free Shampoos I Can Buy?
If you don’t want to risk Paraben contact until evidence comes out one way or another, then you have a number of Paraben free shampoos to choose from.
Paraben free shampoo products are offered wherever you can find shampoos. They are increasing in popularity, leading to a wide selection in the marketplace.
The Company Quenched offers a variety of Paraben free shampoos, conditions, and moisturizers. Other companies with Paraben free product lines include:
Where Does That Leave Us?
Simply put, Paraben may be dangerous. However, there has not been enough research or concern on the part of the FDA to issue a ban on its use. For those who fear that Paraben will be as deadly as leaded gasoline, then there are a number of high quality Paraben free products for them to choose from.
This includes a wide range of Paraben free shampoo products made by a variety of companies. As it may be some time before definitive results come in, you may just want to play it safe and avoid Paraben.