Parabens

01 september 2022 - Makeup , Skincare


There is a lot of contradiction about this subject within the beauty industry. What is acceptable and what isn't? What is toxic or carcinogenic and what is not? Scientific opinions are strongly divided.

You, as a consumer, are now more aware of what you put on your body than the consumer of ten years ago. Media plays a major role in this by sharing a lot of information. Ingredients, products and sometimes even brands are regulary painted in a negative light without any scientific substantiation. This not entirely fair to the brand and certainly not to you as consumer.

Honest, impartial and scientifically substantiated information is therefore of crucial importance.

Just recently, media spread information about hormone disturbing ingredients (EDC's) in the cosmetic industry. As you can imagine, we got a lot of questions. And rightly so... But do not discard your cream or bottle of shampoo just yet!

Concentration

It is important to know that cosmetics legislation is strictly regulated in Europe. As a manufacturer, you know very well what is or isn't allowed and in what concentrations (quantity) a substance is safe to use.

And that's what it's all about: concentrations!

For example, a glass of wine will probably not make you drunk, but a whole bottle in a short time can and more than one can even make you very sick.

The media pulled an old know substance out of the hat again, parabens.

This substance has been added to all kinds of foods as a preservative since the 1930s. For years already, parabens have been a “broad spectrum” preservative that can protect a product against bacteria and molds.

Studies

Unfortunately, parabens got a bad name when a study came to light in 2004 in which parabens had been found in breast cancer tissue.

What the study unfortunately did not reveal was whether parabens had also been found in other tissues and how long the substance was present already. However, this does not mean that it also was the cause of the problem, this information was unfortunately not shared by the media. In the years that followed, parabens were intensively tested, which showed that applying parabens in a certain concentration has no consequences for your health.

Parabens were tested on mice and rats in another study, which showed that an estrogen-like effect took place. A discussion arose about whether or not it has effects on the hormone balance. What was not reported in the media is that the metabolism of mice and rats is different than the metabolism of humans. The human body breaks down the parabens much faster and that's the reason why they don't have time to have an estrogen-like influence.

Scientific evidence

For the European Cosmetic Regulation, there is enough scientific evidence to still approve parabens as the most effective and safest preservative on the market. Despite all positive tests, many manufacturers have now removed parabens from their formulas. It may be that some formulas do not allow it and parabens are still found on the INCI list (ingredients list).

In order to affect your hormones, parabens must remain on your skin for a long time and be added in high concentrations at once. In many cases, parabens are broken down immediately after contact with your skin. So they can’t penetrate your skin and therefore can’t reach your bloodstream. With cosmetic products such as cleansers, shampoos, etc., the product is rinsed off immediately and parabens have no time to penetrate your skin.

Of course, it remains your own choice whether you want to use products with parabens. When purchasing, pay close attention to the INCI list if you want to avoid it.