Did you ever wonder what really contain among the ingredients of the cosmetics you use every day in the face, body, nails and hair? Among its many components like Parabens is common to see appear, a group of chemicals used as preservatives.
Although they have a natural origin, all of which are used in cosmetics are synthetic.
This chemical is used free of controversy because some studies suggest that it is linked to certain cancers, for example those used in deodorants or nail polish, with formaldehyde to keep the product in perfect condition.
The root of the bad reputation that carry the parabens from a few years ago, was a study by Professor Philipp Darbrew of University of Reading whose findings warned of the link between parabens and breast cancer. It has since questioned the toxicology of these chemicals in the cosmetics sector and especially in the creams for babies.
What are parabens?
The founder and director of research for Caudalie, Mathilde Thomas, give a pretty clear definition: “Parabens are preservatives broad spectrum responsible for destroying the many germs (bacteria and fungi, for example) that can develop into all the formulas that combine water and oil.” That is, the vast majority of cosmetics. It is estimated that approximately 90%, including shampoos, and even self-tanners containing toothpaste.
Despite the criticisms for and against it there, we know that in recent years it has been an increase in cases of skin allergies, rosacea, among others, the use of parabens in foods and cosmetics.
Various health institutions have spoken about it then as the French agency for sanitary safety of health products in favor of “maintaining the use, under the conditions laid down by the current regulation 4 of the 5 most commonly used parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl parabens)”.
For their part the American Cancer Society has stated that there is no conclusive empirical evidence about their relationship with certain types of cancer, but still further research on products that contain them.
Although so far no study has clearly demonstrated the link between parabens and diseases, which has led to the question about its toxicity may be its ability to cross the skin barrier. Then all cosmetics are now under scrutiny care.
The bio cosmetics
All this controversy has generated a boom in organic products as healthy alternatives are postulated free of parabens. Brands such as Avene, Stila, Aveda and Dr Hauschka, Weleda or Sanoflore are among the most important.
Many other brands have decided to react to the precautionary principle as Occitaine: that parabens began using doses well below normal. Until now when formulating products without paraben and also launch a program to replace the existing formulas.
Because chemical preservatives can lead to cases of intolerance or irritation, there have to be used with caution. Failing that, the market offers options in other brands that are more suitable for very sensitive skin to chemicals.
How to recognize synthetic preservatives?
All cosmetics we use should include the ingredients in international nomenclature INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredients). The ingredients are listed from highest to lowest concentration and its chemical name. Thus we recognize the parabens with names like: Ethylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben. Other synthetic preservatives most used are benzoic acid, benzoic acid appears as or benzyl alcohol and benzyl alcohol collected.
For the reduction of natural preservatives, continues the search for ideal replacement. Some products use the word “paraben free” to differentiate, or is there some shampoos, soaps, deodorants or exfoliating whose formula is water based and oil and then not need preservatives. Another way is taking advantage of things like the type of container, natural alcohol (ethanol) or essential oils to help preserve the product.
Whether or not successful research on parabens, at least know that they will make us more attentive to the composition of our cosmetics being more responsible in how we consume.