Are Parabens Really Safe

You've probably heard the news about parabens and the controversy surrounding their use in personal care products. Here is a brief, but fair, look at this complicated issue: No cosmetic can ever be truly "natural"-no matter what the manufacturer claims-but some ingredients are closer than others. Parabens have been considered an ideal compromise, and until recently were considered one of the safest methods of preservation available. But an article published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology has cast doubt on the safety of parabens and especially their potential role in the development of some breast cancers. Scientists have known for some time that parabens can mimic the effect of estrogen when used in laboratory animals, but in early 2004, British researchers at the University of Reading, announced they had found parabens in cancer tumors patients with human breast cancer. Equally worrying is the fact that Researchers believe that the form of parabens in tumors indicate that parabens were absorbed topically and not taken orally. But most alarming is the fact that parabens were found in the sample every day.

It is important to note that this was a very, very small study – only 20 women – and there is absolutely no way of knowing what, if any, are involved products for skin care. Although the researcher has warned that there is no definitive proof that parabens actually cause breast cancers, which has called for more studies. Should you be worried? Manufacturers are. Many of the leaders in the natural products industry have announced plans to discontinue the use of parabens and is expected to follow suit. How to know if their products from skin care contain parabens? Read labels. All cosmetics are required by law to keep the lists of ingredients completely. If your products for skin care ingredients are not in list, or you can not find condoms in the list, be suspicious.

Equally suspicious of manufacturers who claim to use natural essential oils or grapefruit seed extract. In everyday use, simply do not work as promised. One of the most exciting preservatives used today is hydroxymethylglycinate, a derivative of the natural amino acid glycine. It is considered very safe and appears to be less likely to cause allergic reactions than other preservatives.