Parabens (or BENS as I like to call them), have been subject to controversy over the years. Some say they are linked to cancer whilst others say they are totally safe to use. My opinion; avoid, avoid, avoid!
How many times have you picked up a product claiming to be ‘100% natural’, but when you read the ingredients it says something like this;
- sodium laureth sulphate
- coconut oil (in the smallest of fonts)
What are Parabens?
BENs are a group of alkyl esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (the scientific definition).
They basically mimic the hormone oestrogen. And this can seriously throw off the delicate balance of your hormones. The most common of BEN’s are the one’s I’ve highlighted above. They are used (or their salts) for their bactericidal, antimicrobial and fungicidal properties. BENs can be found in most cosmetics and toiletries including (but not limited to);
- face and body creams
- shower gels
- shaving gels
- babycare products
Here’s the interesting part.
The Environmental Protection Agency has proven that all parabens interfere with the endocrine system. These endocrine disruptors are stored in our body fat.
The Centre for Children’s Health and the Environment at Mount Sinai School in New York goes further to suggest that endocrine disruptors may contribute to reproductive disorders, developmental issues and immune system dysfunction in children. This is scary considering nowadays, kids as young as 8, are using cosmetics.
The link to cancer
Scientists from the UK took 20 breast samples and found that 99% of them contained BENs. Shocking right! What was the cause? Underarm deodorants.
This makes sense as 60% of all breast tumours are found in just one fifth of the breast – the upper-outer quadrant (near the armpit).
Although the FDA claim that a causal link can not be attributed between BENs and cancer, I prefer to differ. I mean there’s lots of research to prove otherwise.
Parabens are toxic, regardless of how many times the FDA and other Big Pharma companies try to sugarcoat it. Chemicals are just not meant to be on your skin. They don’t benefit us in any way, so why are they being used in our everyday products? Our skin acts as a barrier to most toxins, however it is not impermeable. To find out just how permeable your skin is; rub garlic on your feet and you’ll be breathing it out of your mouth 20 minutes later.
Another shocking discovery I made is sunscreen. Did you know it usually contains BENs?
Methylparaben is found in sun block and studies indicate that when methylparaben reacts with UVB rays it can actually lead to skin aging and DNA damage.
Chemicals with hormone-like properties are called xenohormones. Put this in baby products and you have a recipe for endocrine destruction. 50 years ago the average age for a girl to begin menstruation was the age of 16 years old. Fast forward to 2016 and that has decreased to the tender age of 6.
Our children’s immune system’s are naturally weak, so pumping them with chemicals will cause serious harm. As their metabolism system is still developing, they will have a much more difficult time expelling these toxins from their bodies.
European countries are required to comply with this rule from the 30 July 2015. Whether this has been implemented in individual countries, is unknown.
Living a BEN-free life can be unrealistic. However there are natural alternatives and I urge you to research and use them. Not only will you be benefiting your health but you will also stop animals from being subject to inhumane degradation.
As you know most chemicals that are placed in our everyday toiletries, have probably been tested on an innocent animal (unless stated/proven otherwise).
One company I’m in love with at the moment is PHB Ethical Beauty (I’m not affiliated with this company or receive endorsement – I just love their stuff).
Rose Brown has really taken the time to ensure that all her products are halal, vegan, paraben, synthetic and chemical free. So if you’re looking for some all natural make-up head over to her site. She also has some BEN and mercury free mascara too. (Hurry as there is a 13% SALE on).
Have you gone ‘all natural’ recently? Comment below on your favourite DIY products.
Jazakallah khayrun [May God Bless You] for reading.