What is a paraben and why should you avoid them?
For years I have been personally buying products that say "paraben free" or "no parabens." It recently occurred to me that I don't even really know what a paraben is or why I am avoiding them.
Parabens are a synthetic preservative and can be called by the following names: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben. Parabens are well documented as to disrupt hormone function and while most products on the market contain "acceptable" limits; the aggregate amounts we come in contact with through all the products we use is where the toxicity comes into play. Parabens have been found to increase risk of breast cancer and increase reproductive toxicity. So after researching, I will continue to avoid them.
Another common ingredient I avoid in my personal care products is sulfates. Ever wonder why your sulfate free shampoo doesn't lather up as well as conventional shampoos? It is because sulfates (like sodium lauryl sulfate or decyl glucoside, cocamidopropyl betaine, and ocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine) are surfactants. Surfactants reduce surface tension between liquids and solids; helping to clean hair of oils and dirt.
I hope you learned something about parabens and sulfates; and can now make a conscious effort to avoid them as well.
Environmental Working Group Cosmetics Database
Scientific American Article on Parabens
Science, Solutions, and Sprinkles (SSSprinkles.com) is the personal branding site for Sara Jane Weidner (now Bellocchi). It is the confluence of all her businesses, thoughts, knowledge, and a way to give back... through distilling information into an interesting and entertaining content pillar.