Parebens or parabens are substances that are found in many cosmetic and personal hygiene products. Until a very few years ago we knew little or nothing about parabens. We did not even know that we were using products that contained them and that they could produce not so positive effects on the body and health. Luckily we already know more about them and, therefore, more and more ecological and natural products are sought, since they do not contain them, and they can be found in a variety of businesses dedicated to ecological cosmetic and personal hygiene products, as well as in large fairs in which new products of this type are presented and presentations are given on pollution and health issues, among others, such as this case of parabens. The BioCultura Fair in Spain it is one of these interesting places where they help us to better know what products we consume.
But, what are parabens exactly? And what are the consequences of parabens? If you are one of those who wonder, in this Green Ecologist article we explain it to you.
We can say that parabens or parabens constitute the preservatives in cosmetic products and personal hygiene. Therefore, they would be similar to preservative substances, artificial or natural, that are used in food to preserve food against the action of microorganisms and that prevent them from spoiling more quickly and last longer.
Thus, parabens prevent the cosmetic product from becoming degrade by action of microorganisms or lose its effectiveness. Parabens are the most used type of preservative in cosmetics and beauty products, although they can also be combined with other preservatives.
However, not all parabens are synthetic substances, but some are organic substances that can be found, for example, in blueberries, and are metabolized once they are ingested. Although it is true that up to 90% of the parabens most used today for this function have been artificially synthesized.
Read the product labels that we consume is an act that we must introduce into our routine every time we step into a store. Learning to read labels and recognize the acronyms by which different products are marked, such as parabens or palm oil, will make us responsible consumers.
In this sense, you should know that parabens are identified within the European Union with the use of following codes:
Although it is also possible to identify them with the following names:
These substances are mainly found in makeup products, hair ranges, shaving products or moisturizers. The Cosmetic Ingredent Review (CIR) established in 1984 that the use of parabens in cosmetic products does not represent any risk to health, as long as it does not exceed amounts of 25%. However, this study was reopened in 2003 to investigate the safety of parabens in women and children, but it was concluded that it was not necessary to change this report.
Despite conclusions in previous studies, in 2004 the alarm went off when a scientific study was published by oncologists at the University of Reading (Edinburgh). This study identified traces of parabens in 90% of the samples of patients analyzed with breast cancer and their results were published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology. However, it was not possible to conclude that there was a relationship between parabens and cancer formation.
The usual concentrations of parabens in many cosmetic and beauty products are usually vary between 0.01% and 0.3% and at those concentrations they would not be a cause for concern, at least in the short or medium term. Although there are no scientific studies that confirm the relationship of parabens with cancer or other pathologies, it is proposed that could have consequences in:
As we have already explained, parabens are found mainly in the beauty products and cosmetics:
If you want to read more articles similar to What are parabens and their consequences, we recommend that you enter our category of Foods harmful to health.