General Question

jca's avatar

When purchasing hair care and skin care products, do you try to buy paraben-free?

Asked by jca (27937 points ) December 26th, 2012

Someone was telling me about the risks of parabens in our hair and skin care products (i.e. shampoo, makeup, hand lotion, soap). Apparently it’s a cheap preservative that is put into products to extend their shelf life, but it’s present in cancer tumors and is, in general, bad news.

Since learning about this, I am now aware of paraben-free products and will look for them when making purchases in the future. There are paraben-free product websites, and there is a lot of information on them online

Do you try to buy paraben-free products?

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16 Answers

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

No. My concern is to find cruelty-free products. I’m so focused on that goal, I seldom look beyond it.

Judi's avatar

I watched The Story of Cosmetics and it completely changed the way I purchace make up and skin care products.

zenvelo's avatar

I have been keeping myself and my kids paraben free as best I can since the middle of last year, when a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. She informed her friends how difficult it was finding quality paraben free shampoos and lotions, and explained the connection with tumors.

Jeruba's avatar

Is this the same bad stuff that is pouring into the water supply from our use of it in personal care products and doing destructive things to marine life?

JLeslie's avatar

I tried Loreal’s paraben free shampoo and it wasn’t great for my hair. If it had worked well I would have stuck with it.

Since someone raised breast cancer I will mention that some believe antipersperant causes some breast cancers. Some Europeans prefer to only use deoderant, and in fact most fragrances only make deoderant for their scents.

Generally when I learn there is suspicion something in products we consume or use on our bodies might be carcInogenic or hormone altering I try to adjust my habits within reason. For instance I use very few plastic containers to store food, I replaced almost all with glass. I never heat in plastic in the microwave, except for frozen dinners. I firmly believe these plastics affect our hormones, and there have been convincing studies showing women with very high levels of certain plastic chemicals have a much higher chance of having male babies born with undescended testes and penile irregularities.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Not at all. If I stayed away from everything that has a cancer connection, I wouldn’t be able to do anything.

philosopher's avatar

@jca
Yes I always do.
Loreal, Neutrogena and Clinic all have Parben free product lines. On line Lavera Products are Parben free.

Unbroken's avatar

Paraben hasn’t just been connected to cancer. It messes with the endocrine and horomones of the individual.

They also are premature agers, ironically. One of the reasons is because it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.

I believe the health organization states that a product is unhealthy if it is 25% or more in the product. It is not regulated so you have to do your own research.

Yes they do mess with the water health. However it is not something that gets a huge amount of attention. Although the increasin amount of paraben free products available does say that there is a rising demand for them.

So of course I am paraben free.

JLeslie's avatar

Do any of you worry about foods that have naturally occuring parabens like blueberries, carrots, strawberries, etc.?

Unbroken's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t eat these foods every day. They are weaker in fruit then in beauty products.

Beauty products you often put on top of each other. Lotion sunscreen lip gloss or chapstick, shampoo/conditioner, soap, make up perfume, all day everyday.

Blueberries strawberries etc I eat every now and again a serving or too.

Also the parabens used in products and food are synthetic. I am skeptical of these because I have friends who are allergic to anything with synthetic vitamin E etc.

So there is a difference in synthetic products and its not good my conclusion.

JLeslie's avatar

@rosehips Allergies don’t signify anything really. More people have allergies to natural ingredients than chemical from what I have read. I fall in that category. If it advertises plant ingredients or extracts in a face serum or shampoo, I have about a 50/50 chance I might react. The only chemical I have trouble with, if we are going to include it, is latex and some adhesives. People are allergic to nature: grass, poisin ivy, dust, pollen, shellfish, peanuts, bee stings, etc. However, I do think chemicals are a problem. I have no idea the quantities of parabens in those fruits compared to lotions, but anything I ingest I assume is absorbed more readily into my bloodstream than something topical. I also don’t know if sometimes natural parabens are used in some of these topical products. I just don’t know enough about it, I wish I knew more. I was just curious if people so worried about arabens even think about ingesting natural ones.

philosopher's avatar

Berries are natural antioxidants. I put them in my smoothies every day. The best form of sugar is in fruit because the fiber slows down the procressing of sugar. Often when we consume things naturally their are fewer or No negative affects. Processed foods in an unnatural state are what most people have difficulty metabolizing.

Cupcake's avatar

Face soap – yes.

I haven’t made the switch for shampoo yet, although I keep considering doing the no-shampoo thing.

Unbroken's avatar

@JLeslie you do have a point about allergies. When it comes to nutrients I made a decision to stay natural. Personal decision.

As far as ingestion v digestion there is a difference, but consider your skin covers all of your body. It is porous and we use analgesics and salve.

We take warm showers that open up our pores multiple layers penetrating lotion etc. Multiply the use against all your products that hopefully have less then 25% how many times you use them a day. Take into account that some processed foods also contain parabens questions arise as to what 25% of a product means when there is so much quantity of it. A few vegetables a serving of weaker berries, less then every day, doesn’t seem that bad.

On the flip side I haven’t seen comparison charts or numbers and I would agree these would be interesting.

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