What's on your daily bath products?

Posted by Mildred Dale on

We often question ourselves if we are using a safe skin care product and wonder...hmmmm.

What  is safe for the skin anyway? We often see "Paraben free" or "100% non toxic" .in a lot of products in the market these days ,but do we really know what we are to look for when "safe" ingredients  is what we want in our products?

According to Wikipedia:

Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Chemically, they are a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid (also known as 4-hydroxybenzoic acid). Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They are found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, makeup,[1] and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives.

Their efficacy as preservatives, in combination with their low cost, the long history of their use, and the inefficacy of some natural alternatives like grapefruit seed extract (GSE),[2] probably explains why parabens are so commonplace. No effective direct links between parabens and cancer have been established.[3]

Health considerations

Most of the available paraben toxicity data are from single-exposure studies, meaning one type of paraben in one type of product. According to paraben research this is relatively safe, posing only a negligible risk to the endocrine system. However, since many types of parabens in many types of products are used commonly, further assessment of the additive and cumulative risk of multiple paraben exposure from daily use of multiple cosmetic and/or personal care products is needed.[9]

Allergic reactions[edit]

In individuals with normal skin, parabens are, for the most part, non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Parabens can, however, cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis and rosacea in individuals with paraben allergies, a small percentage of the general population.[10] This is as a result of the fact that Parabens easily penetrate the skin and are suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption).[11]

Breast cancer[edit]

No evidence shows that application of consumer products containing parabens cause cancer.[12] Investigations by the American Cancer Society and FDA found that current levels of parabens in consumer products were not dangerous.[13][14] A 2005 review concluded "it is biologically implausible that parabens could increase the risk of any estrogen-mediated endpoint, including effects on the male reproductive tract or breast cancer" and that "worst-case daily exposure to parabens would present substantially less risk relative to exposure to naturally occurring endocrine active chemicals in the diet such as the phytoestrogen daidzein."[3]

Estrogenic activity[edit]

Animal experiments have shown that parabens have weak estrogenic activity, acting as xenoestrogens.[15] In an in vivo study, the effect of butylparaben was determined to be about 1/100,000th that of estradiol, and was only observed at a dose level around 25,000 times higher than the level typically used to preserve products.[16] The study also found that the in vivo estrogenic activity of parabens is reduced by about three orders of magnitude compared to in vitro activity.

The estrogenic activity of parabens increases with the length of the alkyl group. It is believed that propylparaben is estrogenic to a certain degree as well,[17] though this is expected to be less than butylparaben by virtue of its less lipophilic nature. Since it can be concluded that the estrogenic activity of butylparaben is negligible under normal use, the same should be concluded for shorter analogs.

Sun exposure[edit]

Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin may react with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage.[18][19]


The European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) reiterated in 2013 that methylparaben and ethylparaben are safe at the maximum authorized concentrations (up to 0.4% for one ester or 0.8% when used in combination). The SCCS concluded that the use of butylparaben and propylparaben as preservatives in finished cosmetic products is safe to the consumer, as long as the sum of their individual concentrations does not exceed 0,19 %.[20] Isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, benzylparaben and pentylparaben were banned by Commission Regulation (EU) No 358/2014.[21]

So, looking at this ,what makes most of us so afraid of parabens?