Paraben free products are now becoming more readily available on the open market, which has given rise to a heated debate over whether they are really necessary. On one side of the issue you have the manufacturers who use these preservatives to make their products more marketable. On the other side are the consumers and industry watchdogs that claim parabens are linked to cancer and other health problems.
What is Paraben?
This is where you have to start if you want to determine whether paraben free products are worth your money. Parabens are preservatives which are used in a variety of modern products from creams, lotions, soaps, and shampoos to prepackaged foods.
Parabens are cheap preservatives which extend the shelf life of these products, making it possible for manufacturers to leave them sitting on store shelves for longer periods of time. This saves money as without the preservatives, many of these products would expire before they have a chance to be purchased and used by consumers.
Basically, parabens are chemicals. In most cases, they are unnatural substances that the body cannot properly process or dispose of.
Are They Harmful?
People who recommend using paraben free products believe whole-heartedly that there is a connection between chemicals such as these and deadly diseases, such as breast cancer.
Further, some studies have shown that paraben could act as estrogen within the body which throws off hormone levels and leads to breast cancer. It has also been suggested that paraben products could interfere with the development of the reproductive system in baby boys, since they are so sensitive to hormones in that stage of life.
There have been many studies that have shown a direct link between paraben and these health issues. What is creating confusion for consumers is that manufacturers are now hiring their own research teams to disprove the evidence that points to this link. In the end, consumers come away confused over who to believe.
As a response, smart consumers are playing it safe and favoring paraben free products over those made with chemical based preservatives.
How Are They Identified?
When you look at the label of a product that contains these chemicals, you will see one of these names: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, and benzylparaben.
To identify paraben free products, look for labels that say “preservative free” or that otherwise declare that preservatives are not used. You may also find paraben free products that are labeled as organic or all natural. Yet, it is important to read the labels because not all “natural” products are completely paraben free.
So, what’s the verdict? Are paraben free products really worth the money? For many consumers concerned with what goes into their body through their skin, it is best to play it safe and find products that leave out the chemicals altogether.