Parabens are a group of compounds used as preservatives in personal care products, cosmetics and even medicine like Advil. They help to prolong the shelf life of the products they’re contained in because they are antifungals and antimicrobials.
The problem with parabens is that they are xenoestrogens, meaning they mimic estrogen in the body. Elevated estrogen in the body can lead to all kinds of health problems, some of which include:
Lowered sperm count
Early onset of puberty in girls
Breast Cancer- (several breast cancer studies have detected parabens in the vast majority of tumors they examined)
Personal care companies and even the FDA will tell you that there isn’t enough evidence to conclude parabens cause adverse health effects, and that small amounts of parabens are safe. The problem with that statement is that it doesn’t seem to consider that most people use multiple products every day over many years. Sure, if you use a lotion formulated with parabens once a month, you’ll probably fine. But the reality is, consumers do not use products that way. Even if the evidence is inconclusive today, why take the risk?
What can you do?
1- Watch out for the following parabens on your product labels: Methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben, polyparaben and isobutylparaben
2- Practice the precautionary principle. If you don’t know whether something is bad for you—don’t use it.
3- Switch to non-toxic products