Parabens: What are they and why should we care about them?

Parabens: What are they and why should we care about them?

By Marilyn Lacey of

Parabens are chemical preservatives found in many beauty products meant to prolong shelf life. Just as you absorb the preservatives in food, your scalp and skin absorb the ingredients of haircare and skincare products you use, including those preserving parabens.

While parabens haven’t been proven to cause breast cancer, they have been found in breast tissue of women who have breast cancer. They mimic estrogen and too much estrogen can cause breast cancer.

Parabens are also harmful to animals in marine life as they are flushed into the sewage system and released into the environment.

Look for “paraben free” type labeling as you’re not likely to see “contains parabens” as a warning. Study the label ingredients of your favorite products and look out for the following: butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparabenthese are the most commonly found parabens.

There are natural alternatives such as Optiphen and Germall Plus that are not only better for your skin but better for the environment. Now you know. Check those labels!