‘Parabens’ are a family of synthetic preservatives (methylparaben, propylparaben, isoparaben, and butylparaben). Parabens are very effective as a broad-band preservative and found in almost every common beauty care product including colour cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. Beyond being effective, they also allow companies to easily and very cheaply preserve products, allowing them to have shelf lives of 2-3 years without spoiling.
Paraben preservatives are suspected carcinogens. Multiple studies related specifically to breast cancer have discovered parabens in breast cancer tumors. Paraben preservatives as well as other synthetics commonly used in cosmetics and deodorants are absorbed into the skin and accumulate in the body.
As the use of advanced synthetics becomes increasingly popular in almost all personal care products, our society is absorbing and accumulating even greater amounts of synthetics.
Some anti-paraben advocates call this accumulation a ‘body burden’ and encourage the public to avoid paraben preservatives and other identified toxic ingredients to decrease your body’s overall chemical burden over a lifetime of use. Theorists believe that the sum of all the chemicals you absorb that build up in your system may eventually be one of the triggering agents in the development of cancer.
Additionally, paraben preservatives, among other synthetics such as phthalates, have been identified as endocrine disruptors. This means that once introduced into the body, the paraben preservatives are seen chemically by the body to be similar to human produced estrogen molecules. The body’s perceived additional estrogen can throw the natural body’s own endocrine system off balance, which contributes to theories that paraben preservatives are a catalyst for breast cancer. Many say that paraben preservatives and phthalates are especially harmful to children with developing bodies.
Additional research must be done to determine the true gravity of the daily use and absorption of paraben preservatives. While the population waits for a final verdict, Afterglow Cosmetics has made the obvious alternative available – paraben-free cosmetics. We encourage you to read labels, understand what you are putting onto and eventually into your body, and advocate safer alternatives, ongoing testing, and better FDA regulation.
To see a complete list of the ingredients used in Afterglow Cosmetics, visit our Ingredients by Product page.