Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Para-- What?

I'm sure everyone has heard the word PARABENS, but did you know that they are in 90% of your cosmetics, lotions, and make-up? Do you really know what they are or how they affect you? I'm going to break it down and let you decide if you want to continue using your everyday products or not!

What are Parabens??

Parabens are alky esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid which can be broken down into various chemical substitutions.  Some of the most popular parabens found in your everyday household products are the following: methylparaben (E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216), isobutylparaben, butylparaben, and benzylparaben. These chemicals are used to inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeast, and molds in your products; however, on The Truth about Parabens website they say that parabens are unnecessary because there are plenty of self-preserving, organic ingredients out there that create an extended shelf life for products.

Breast Cancer, Estrogen, & Parabens!

Studies have shown that parabens have been linked to breast cancer because researchers have found traces of parabens in samples of breast tumors (Parabens in Wikipedia). In 20 samples of breast tumors, 18 samples had HIGH concentrations of parabens.  Although studies have been done, there is no link that the parabens cause breast cancer, but just that the parabens are found in the tissue of the tumor samples.  The reason that parabens seem to affect the breast is because these chemicals have the same effect on our bodies as estrogen does resulting in, diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and male breast growth.  Again, the American Cancer Society still claims that there is NO link between parabens and breast cancer, so you be the judge!

Scientists claim that because of the small amount of parabens in our products and the large amount that was done for the studies, that there is no definite result that parabens cause cancer, specifically breast cancer.  Although more studies need to be done on parabens and our health, there is no denying the fact that our bodies absorb everything we put on it, including harmful chemicals.  And even though the chemicals might be in extremely small amounts, there is no denying the fact that our bodies accumulate these chemicals overtime resulting in allergies, skin problems, and cancer in our futures.  So you be the judge...is it worth it?

Products & the length of time on your skin

Products that are left on your body for a long period of time have more time to absorb all of the chemicals into your skin and body.  The following products are the ones you need to be more wary about using:
1) make-up (Suggested: bare minerals)
2) deodorant (Suggested: baby powder, all natural deodorant like Jason's)
3) sunscreen
4) lotions & (Neem Skin Salve @ Whole Foods, olive oil, all natural lotions)
5) skin creams (Avalon organics Vit C--online or at Whole Foods)

Products that are on your body for a short period of time will more than likely wash away all of the parabens before they absorb into your skin.  The following products that don't seem to have as much of a risk are:
1) soaps
2) shower gels
3) shampoos and conditioners

So, you be the judge...

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