With approximately 85% of all cosmetics using parabens, it’s safe to say they’re widely used within the modern cosmetic industry. For the most part, parabens have a history of safe use so their common use in shampoos, lotions, lipsticks, scrubs and other cosmetics hasn’t been a concern, until now. Now, modern society is relying on new parabens without this same history of use, which means we are consistently introducing new, questionable ingredients to our bodies. This is why more people are now turning to paraben-free products, and why Soapbox is dedicated to providing them.
Parabens were introduced back in the 1950’s as a type of preservative intended to prolong the shelf life of cosmetic products. They prevent the growth of both mold and bacteria to keep these products safe to use for longer periods of time, but new research is now saying that these ingredients could actually be doing more harm than good.
When you use products on your skin, you’re inviting the ingredients in them to gain access to your entire body. Anything you put on your skin can get into the deeper, underlying layers and even access your body’s bloodstream. If this happens, you could have questionable, man-made preservatives traveling throughout your body.
Research has said that parabens are actually xenoestrogens, a scientific way of saying that they mimic estrogen (a hormone) in the body. This can be concerning for anyone trying to start a family and it has even been linked to breast cancer. Although this research isn’t final, there are studies that have found this effect is weak. Thus, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization continue to permit the use of parabens at what are considered “safe, low levels.”
Even at these low levels, parabens are now starting to affect the world around us by influencing more than just the human body. More recent studies have found traces of the ingredients in the bodies of marine mammals, ingredients that act like estrogen and impact the mammals’ health and wellbeing. This is happening as we wash our bodies with paraben-laden products, such as shampoos and soaps, which then get rinsed down the drain and released into the sewage system.
If you want to avoid any potential harmful effects of parabens, then look for paraben-free cosmetics. Products that do not use paraben, like those from Soapbox, make sure to mention “paraben-free” on their packaging to help direct consumers to safer, healthier alternatives than their chemical-laden cousins. If, however, you do not see these golden words anywhere on the packaging, you can check the ingredient list for the following common parabens:
Before you decide to go paraben-free, or continue to use FDA-approved products that use the ingredients, it is important to become informed. There are studies that support both sides on the use of these preservatives, but as more research comes to light it seems to point in the directions of a better, healthier and free-from-paraben-use future to keep our communities and wildlife safe from potential harm.
When you choose to use paraben-free products you are making a decision that impacts not only you and your body’s health, but the health of the environment in which we live as well. Parabens are man-made ingredients, and even with years of studies supporting the safety of these ingredients when used in small amounts, the ultimate decision is up to you. Soapbox supports paraben-free products with our collection of shampoos, lotions, soaps and washes that are not only good for your skin and hair, but for the world as well.
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