Last year I was walking down the high street when my friend pulled me into one of the major health food shops, saying that she had to get her hands on a product she had heard lots about. So I dutifully followed her to the stand where they were actually selling a range of creams, body washes, shampoos and so on; I had no idea they even stocked that. I saw the same thing on every label – “SLS and parabens free”. My friend picked up a couple of things from the manuka honey range and I went home intrigued; I decided to do a bit of research to see what all the fuss was about.
Like any girl my age, I went straight to the web and Googled “what are parabens” and found a whole range of resources, including some brilliant beauty blogs. People were having an active conversation and debate about the ingredients used in beauty products, and it really opened my eyes as I had never really considered it before. I tended to just pick up what I thought smelled nice or looked good.
So, What Are Parabens
After checking on the World English Dictionary, I found a definition of parabens. They say it is: “An ester of parahydroxybenzoic acid, some of which are used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and have been found in breast cancer tumors.” In simple form, this means that parabens is an ingredient that is found in everyday toiletry products like deodorant, moisturizers, makeup and shampoo. It is there to act as a preservative – but it is a cheap option, and could be bad for long term health.
Parabens And Health Connection
My initial research made me even more interested about parabens and the products I used, so I decided to have a look at the things I use on a daily basis. I was actually shocked at how widespread chemical use was; I think I was misled by advertisements on TV that shouted about natural extracts of jojoba and the like. So all I can say is, you might want to check your own cosmetics for the sake of your health. And when it comes to health, nothing could really be more important. Parabens is still being used in products, despite having been found in the biopsy of breast cancer tumours.
Finding Better Alternatives
If you are inspired to make a change to the products that you use to avoid a potentially harmful ingredient, it isn’t an impossible goal. You will find plenty of resources online to direct to you sites where you can find replacement items that are made from more natural ingredients. They will likely cost you a little bit more, but I tend to think it is worth it for the sake of health and wellbeing.
Luckily some of the big retailers have caught on to the fact that people want to be able to make an active choice with their cosmetics, so there are more products being sold that are parabens free. However you can always go to the health food shop as a first port of call to see what is available.