Why you must avoid Parabens | The Brown Bottle

Why you must avoid Parabens

Nov 20, 2016 by Sora


Preservatives are necessary for product safety in personal care products even if they might cause some skin irritation or other minor allergic reactions in some consumers. Without them, not a single cosmetic product with any level of activity would last longer than 3 days on the shelf before presenting with microbial infection, which would most certainly cause more harm than any preservation ingredient. David Steinberg, a previous national president of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, has gone so far as to trademark his statement: 

Remember, Preservatives are Safer than BacteriaTM.

Let’s take a look at preservatives, specially, Parabens.

Parabens, what are they?

These all-round-players are widely used in products such as cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, toners, lotions, creams, sunscreens, powders, mascaras, eyeliners, lip glosses, etc. to prevent bacteria growth from 1950s. “About 85 percent of cosmetics have them.” says Arthur Rich, Ph.D., a cosmetic chemist in Chestnut Ridge, New York. 

Why are they so commonly used?

They’re inexpensive and effective.

New York City dermatologist Fran E. Cook-Bolden explains. This ‘small input and cost effective’ preservative has strong antimicrobial properties against yeast, bacterial organisms and molds.

But what's wrong with Parabens?

The chemicals have generated increasing health concerns, because they mimic estrogens, which have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive problems.

According to lead investigator Dale Leitman, a gynecologist and molecular biologist at UC Berkeley and an adjunct associate professor of nutritional sciences and toxicology, 

Although parabens are known to mimic the growth effects of estrogens on breast cancer cells, some consider their effect too weak to cause harm. But this might not be true when parabens are combined with other agents that regulate cell growth.

Existing chemical safety tests, which measure the effects of chemicals on human cells, look only at parabens in isolation, he said. They fail to take into account that parabens could interact with other types of signaling molecules in the cells to increase breast cancer risk.

Introduce Paraben family so that you can turn your back...

Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Sodium Butylparaben, Sodium Propylparaben, Sodium Ethylparaben, Sodium Methylparaben... 

They used in alone or with 3-5 of them together to build sinergic preserve effect. Of course, skincare companies might say that they only used them as recommended and that they also passed safety tests. But there’s no definitive conclusion of the effects of long-term usage and who knows what will happen if we use several skincare products contain parabens at once.

What should I do?

Simple. Go for the ‘Paraben free’ products. Remember the Paraben family we introduced above? It’s easy to find the chemicals as their names finish ‘~paraben’. If a skincare product has ‘~paraben’ on it’s ingredients list, put it back nicely on the shelf. Then you can at least pick one of 15% Paraben free products up from the market.

We will continue about other preservatives and also ‘preservative free’ products as well!

All The Brown Bottle's products are paraben-free. Find out here.

Share with your loved ones