Friday, 9 March 2012

Meet the Parabens

In continuation of March being the month of all things beauty, lets take some time to look at the not so pretty side of cosmetics.  The topic of the day is Parabens.

What are Parabens? They will show up in many of your loved brands as:

Why are they there?
This class of chemicals is most often used as a preservative and antimicrobial.  While the intent for a longer shelf life and fungal free lip gloss is good, they have been linked to causing hormonal disturbances by mimicking estrogen, and have been found in low concentrations in breast cancer tumours.  Parabens can also cause an allergic reaction and skin conditions in a small percent of the population.

Why do we still use them?
In a word, they are cheap.  Parabens are like the high fructose corn syrups and trans fats of the food industry.   Until there is enough consumer momentum, manufacturers will continue to add them to their cosmetic products to keep prices down, preserving both your lipstick and their bottom line.

What can you do?
I am approaching paraben-free living day by day.  No new products find their way into my makeup bag containing them, and in some cases I have tossed/recycled the old ones that do.   You may recall from this post that I have some MAC eyeshadows kicking around from 2007.  Last week when I took them in for the recycle program the MAC girl informed me that "eyeshadows never go bad". Hmm perhaps this is the problem!

I promise to share with you every paraben free find that I come across and hopefully we will all change the beauty industry one paraben free lip gloss at a time!  Read more about cosmetics Dirty Dozen here.

Happy Saturday!


Please leave a reply!