Parabens are preservatives commonly used in personal care products. Preservatives are used in to inhibit the growth of microbes or bacteria, making the product safe to use and also extending its shelf lifei. The three most common parabens in use are methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. These parabens are known to be eye and skin irritantsii, and have also been linked to breast cancer. Parabens are not carcinogenic themselves, but they are endocrine disruptors, meaning they have an effect on the normal functioning of hormones within the bodyiii. Parabens mimic oestrogen within the body, and increased oestrogen is involved with the increase in breast cells, which can also mean the increase in cancerous breast cellsiv. Parabens are easily absorbed into the skin, being introduced into the system even after just one application. This is a cause for concern considering they are very often used in products that come into direct contact with the skin such body lotions and deodorants. We don't use parabens at ecostore but we do still require the use of preservatives to keep our products free of microbes and able to be on the shelf for longer.
i) The Health Controversies of Parabens
ii) MSDS Methylparaben AMRESCO, LLC
iii) European Commission on Endocrine Disruption
iv) A Review of the Endocrine Activity of Parabens and Implications for Potential Risks to Human Health