When it comes to skincare, there are plenty of controversial topics doing the rounds, but perhaps none as widely discussed as that of parabens. Absolutely essential for some, a complete no-go for others, parabens have divided the skincare community like few other ingredients have.
As a society we have become more concerned about what we put into our bodies, so it’s only natural that we would also take a deeper look into what we put onto our skin.
But what exactly are parabens, and why do so many people consider them potentially harmful? To understand this ingredient and make an informed decision, it’s important to start right at the beginning.
Parabens are a group of chemicals that are used as preservatives in food, beauty, household and pharmaceutical products. They were first introduced in the 1920s and because they are cheap to produce, they have been widely utilised ever since.
Their function? To prolong the shelf life of products and prevent the growth of bacteria and mould within in. So what makes them controversial?
Consultant Dermatologist Dr Ophelia Veraitch told ELLE Magazine, “In recent years there have been growing concerns about the use of parabens in self-care products. A British study found 19 out of 20 women studied had parabens in their breast tissue. This has caused concern as it showed that the parabens in self-care products don't just sit on the skin but they can be integrated and remain into our bodily tissues. From such data it has been speculated that parabens could potentially lead to cancer formation. There is also some evidence that parabens can mimic the effect of oestrogen, which has again in turn been linked to cancer formations and infertility. Parabens can also commonly cause skin sensitivities and allergies. The skin sensitivities and allergies occur by repeated exposure of parabens to the skin, and then the immune cells in the skin slowly but significantly mounting an immune response to when parabens subsequently come into contact with the skin.”
It has been widely reported that parabens can act like the hormone oestrogen in the body and disrupt the normal function of our hormone systems. This can have major effects on both male and female bodies. Parabens have also been shown to be irritating to some skins, and with sensitive skin on the rise globally, this is becoming a common concern.
But it’s not just our health that is at risk – parabens are also believed to be harmful to the environment. According to Dr Veraitch, “Parabens are believed to cause harm to marine life, where they've been found inside sea creatures and are also believed to damage and kill coral.”
The bottom line is that there is still more research to be done to fully understand the effect of parabens on our bodies, but these early studies are already supporting the public’s concerns. The best thing consumers can do is to make informed decisions about the products they choose to use.
How do you know if a product contains parabens? Take a look at the list of ingredients at the back of the packaging. Some of the most ones are butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben, but there are plenty of others as well.
More and more brands are choosing not to include parabens in their skincare products, and have found alternative ways to preserve formulas, that are not only effective but also safe. One of those brands, is SKNLogic.
Because of the potentially harmful nature of parabens, SKNLogic has never – and will never – used them in any of their formulations. Merging the very best in science and nature, they strive to use ethical raw materials, and their products are also free from artificial colourants and fragrances, mineral oil, lanolin, Sulphates or S.D Alcohol. They do not use animal-derived ingredients and their products are not tested on animals.
When you choose SKNLogic, you can rest assured that your products are not only effective in protecting and treating your skin, but they are also safe and free from controversial and harmful ingredients.
SKNLOGIC Cosmeceutical skincare aims to provide a skincare solution that works with the skin’s biological processes to achieve visible results. SKNLOGIC has a synergistic approach to science and nature, offering powerful formulas with optimal concentrations of active ingredients to actively improve skin health and appearance from underneath the skin. We use the maximum concentration of key active ingredients and use the highest grade of quality ingredients from around the world.