The Truth About Parabens

Parabens are antimicrobials that are found in cosmetics and other products used to protect from contamination and help to extend their shelf life. Think of them as a sort of preservative for your favorite products. And they are everywhere – body lotions, face creams, makeup, mascara, shampoo, conditioner, styling products, antiperspirants and deodorants, shaving products, nail care products, and other beauty items.


Though parabens can sometimes cause a mild skin irritation, most people do not have any side effects of using products containing parabens at all. So what’s all the buzz about? Some studies suggest that parabens cause breast cancer. Though this is still up for debate, there has been evidence that they are endocrine disrupters.


Even though the effects of parabens are not very clear, it is obvious that they are not natural. What are your thoughts on parabens? Should be continue to use them, or switch to the “natural” route, meaning we would have to pay much more attention to expiration dates? Comment below with your ideas!


Written by Lauren Henry, class of 2014

Image source, Wikipedia, English: Molecular geometry of the methylparaben, calculated with SIESTA, plotted with Molden. Author: Kovaltasha