Parabens are added to a variety of skin care, hair, makeup and bath products to preserve their shelf life and prevent the growth of bacteria. However, in recent years, studies have suggested that parabens affect our hormones and health and are turning up in our water supply. Millions of Americans apply body lotions and bathe with products containing parabens, so you can only imagine the massive amounts of parabens floating down our drains and into the water. We also ingest parabens that are added to lipsticks and balms with each sip of a drink or bite of food.
Problems With Parabens
An article in Critical Reviews in Toxicology, noted that parabens disrupt the human endocrine system, sending false signals that confuse and disrupt development of our hormones. Scientists feel that these estrogenic compounds accumulate in our systems. Endocrine glands send signals to every system in the body, so excessive use of parabens are known to cause metabolic and neurological disorders. A study on wisegeek.com notes: "There have been a number of studies on this issue, both from inside the cosmetics industry and outside of it. These studies have found that while parabens certainly do have estrogenic qualities, they are probably safe in very small amounts. Typically, the concentration of parabens in cosmetics is very low, often less than 1 percent."
Use Parabens In Moderation
Now, the good news: When used in moderation, parabens are considered safe, but keep in mind that women on average use approximately 20 grooming products a day so you may want to start checking product labels. And better yet, there are so many new paraben-free skin care products now available -- from sunscreen to shampoo, body lotion and even foot products. They are usually marked "paraben-free," but to be sure, read the label. Avoid or reduce products that contain ingredients with the following prefixes: ethyl-, iso-, methyl-, propyl- and butyl- which end with the word "paraben."
An extensive list of economical, paraben-free face, body and hair products are now available at HollywoodBeautySecrets.com, so even if you're on a budget, they're affordable. Below is a list of some of my favorite healthy skin and hair care products:
- C-30 Moisturizer (with 30 SPF sunscreen)
- Emu Lip Balm, Skinlasting (Body and Hand Hydrator)
- Your Crown & Glory Shampoo and Conditioner, Uplift Serum
- De-Aging Solution (For mature, dry skin)
- Age-Defying Night Crème
- Night Perfect Serum
- Uplift Serum
- Microdermabrasion Scrub
- AHA Beauty Fluids
- Glycolic Cleanser
- Papaya & Soy Facial Cleanser
- Papaya & Soy Toner
- Scar Gel
- Zim's Crack Crème (for dry heels & feet)
For more of my budget-friendly beauty and age-proofing tips, pick up a copy of my doctor-recommended book, "Hollywood Beauty Secrets: Remedies to the Rescue", available free from now until Dec. 31, 2011, when you note the code "AOL Jobs / Paraben-free" in the comments box with any product purchased at HollywoodBeautySecrets.com. You'll also receive free skin care samples.
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