Are Parabens Really That Bad For You?
Our products are paraben-free. But what does that mean, exactly?
The world of cosmetic chemistry is complicated and can be hard to understand. Especially when you’re simply trying to indulge in a new shampoo, hand cream or styling wax. Many brands barrage consumers with a laundry list of vague claims that don’t really mean anything and product ingredients lists that look like something out of an AP chemistry class (not a fond memory for some of us). In an effort to demystify the most commonly used jargon, we are unpacking some of our key product claims in a series of blog articles.
Let’s start with parabens – what’s the deal there? Simply put, parabens are a collection of chemicals that are used as preservatives in beauty products. They are meant to extend shelf life and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. They have been used since the 1950s and 85% of cosmetics contain some form of paraben because they are cheap and effective.
Studies in the 1990s suggested parabens could be harmful as they mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, a phenomenon called endocrine disruption that has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. After finding parabens present in malignant breast tumors, researchers started recommending a limit on the amount of parabens used in cosmetic products. At minimum, the presence of parabens in breast tissue suggests the chemicals remain in the body for long periods of time, potentially causing a toxic buildup.
It is important to note: research on the harmful effects of parabens is ongoing and is far from definitive, at this stage. But experts tend to agree it’s best to ere on the side of caution and limit paraben consumption. So, how much exposure is too much? Unfortunately, parabens are not regulated by the FDA in cosmetic products so ingredients lists don’t specify how MUCH paraben chemical compound has been used, or which ones. They could even be categorized vaguely as ‘fragrances’. Some products claim to be ‘green’ or ‘natural’ while still using staggering amounts of parabens.
The easiest and most effective way to ensure your products don’t contain nasty chemicals? Choose products that clearly state paraben-free on the label. And rest assured, the entire collection of T’zikal is 100% paraben-free. We believe in the pursuit of beauty, as in all aspects of life, it is best to harness natural ingredients and limit the amount of chemicals we use and consume.
Do you know what to look for when shopping for ‘natural’ products?
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