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What are Parabens and why should we avoid them?


Parabens are a type of preservative with anti-microbial properties, used to prolong shelf life in many health and beauty products by preventing the growth of mould and bacteria. They have been widely used in various products such as shampoos, conditioners, skin care products, soaps since the 1920 and recent data shows that long term exposure to them can be harmful for us on our environment. Some of the most commonly found parabens in cosmetic products are butylparabenmethylparaben and propylparaben.  


Why are they bad for us?

There has been a lot of research documenting the side effects linked to prolonged exposure to  parabens, in particular related to breast cancer and reproductive issues.  Some data suggests that parabens were able to penetrate the skin and remain within the tissue. However up to know, it is still not 100% demonstrated that parabens can cause breast cancer. What we know is that they are believed to disrupt hormone function by mimicking oestrogen, too much of which is known to trigger an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumours.  

Recent data also suggests that these particles have been found for the first time in the bodies of marine mammals, which indicates that some products that are been used are washed into the sewage system and released into the environment.

What to look for in the label of your products?

If a product is paraben-free, the label will typically state “free from parabens” or “0% parabens” as a part of its packaging. Avoid falling into the ´greenwashing trap´, just because a product doesn’t contain parabens it doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain other harmful chemicals. Look for products which contain a high percentage or natural and/or organic ingredients, these are the ones that will be bringing all the nutritional and therapeutic properties to your body.  For a comprehensive list of  ingredients to avoid please visit our FAQS section where we list all of the ingredients that we try to avoid in the selection of our products.