What is paraben free skin care? What is a paraben? Why are they the new baddie?
It might feel that every other week there is a new thing to be fearful of. Burnt toast causes cancer, too much sleep is bad for you, drinking from plastic bottles is carcinogenic. So when we see paraben free skin care, it’s all too easy to roll the eyes and put it down to fear mongering.
However, parabens have been studied for a few decades now. The risk they pose to health has been proven time and time again – to the point where it is well known that they are a harmful ingredient. Despite this, they appear in countless beauty products in the UK and across the world.
So what are parabens?
Parabens are a chemical compoung of para hydroxybenzoic acid which has been used since since the early part of the twentieth century as a preservative. This helps add shelf life to all types of products including creams, makeup, deodorant and hair care treatments. Parabens are added to products to prevent bacteria from growing and spoiling the product. They are so good at this particular function that they are even added to fizzy drinks, processed meats, sauces and other foods.
Despite the harm that parabens pose being widely agreed by scientists and experts, organisations like the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Perfumery Association (CTPA) have played down the harm of parabens, even though some countries have taken the steps to ban certain types of parabens from being used in products aimed at young children. Studies have also suggested parabens could be connected to breast cancer.
The CTPA declared that “Parabens are officially approved for use under the Cosmetics Directive (76/768/EEC), the European legislation that regulates all cosmetics and toiletries. We can reassure the public that all cosmetic and toiletry products containing parabens may continue to be used safely.”