The preservative I avoid at all costs
There are a lot of really nasty ingredients out there and there is NO one regulating what skin care lines or cosmetics are putting into their products! 😱 Yeah, pretty scary considering our skin is our biggest organ and what we put onto our skin, absorbs, then gets dumped into our bloodstream, and becomes available to interact with hormones or other receptors! Think of birth control patches!? They prevent pregnancy, and all they do is touch the skin😳.
So now you are wondering what is the number one preservative I avoid and why!? Jk you already know which one! Parabens dun dun dun.What is a paraben?
It comes in names such as methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, etc. (you get the idea, it will have some chemical moiety in the name before saying paraben haha). Paraben is a preservative (made to prevent bacteria, fungus, mold growth) and is used in literally everything: toothpastes, lotions, serums, wipes, pharmaceuticals, typical grocery type processed foods, and other personal care products including baby lotions and washes!
Such as these: (that Jergens lotion I have used for years so I’m so sad about this haha)When I compounded drugs we added it to so many RX formulas without me understanding how controversial and scary it can be. And yes, a very structurally similar chemical occurs naturally in some healthy foods like carrots, blueberries, and olives and has been called “natural parabens”. So why is it bad then? It has actually been found inside of breast cancer tumors (which I’m already at a higher risk of since my grandmother and mother were both breast cancer survivors). It is suggested in some research articles and known in others, that it can disrupt endocrine function, meaning it can actually interact with your normal functioning hormones, and can even mimic estrogen! Us scientists don’t know an exact amount that leads to breast cancer, or disrupts say, your thyroid hormone. All we know is there is evidence that it can. Europe even banned its use totally in 2012, but then later allowed 2 parabens to be used in a very small, small percentage.So what does this mean?
This means when I am buying personal care products. I specifically avoid all products that have parabens added to them because we are already being exposed to them daily in foods and items that we are unaware of, and all of this can add up cumulatively and build up in your bloodstream, possibly causing a profound effect. Why take the risk when there are literally a thousand products available without it?
This is not an organic approved message😉. Nor am I trying to scare anyone! I just wanted to educate and spark your mind to go and hopefully take a closer look at your product’s labels. Also, do not fall for every claim on skin care products. We are NOT regulated and can claim “natural”, “organic”, “vegan”, blah blah blah very easily. KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS, know your worth 😄. If you have questions about an ingredient, ask me and I’ll research for you! One of my favorite tools to use is the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. Obviously there are a lot of other ingredients that I try to avoid but I wanted to focus on my least favorite.Now in conclusion, don’t be scared of preservatives! A lot of preservatives are found to be very safe and preservatives are so necessary to prevent mold, fungi, and bacterial growth which we all KNOW are harmful! I use tiny percentages of benzyl alcohol- dehydroacetic acid and potassium sorbate in my formula and am proud of it!! These natural preservatives have been shown to have an extremely safe use/ low toxicity profile and are approved as ecofriendly! And I have passed the USP 51 test with flying colors (which simply means the preservatives I chose are keeping bacteria, mold, and fungus from growing in my serum!)🔬🌿
Happy label reading friends!
Disclaimer: although I am a Doctorate of pharmacy, this is my own professional opinion not professional advice (😉)