Most of the pharma-based beauty products contain parabens. According to FDA, cosmetics sold on retail basis to consumers are required by law to declare ingredients so as to help them determine whether a product contains an ingredient, including parabens, they wish to avoid. Parabens in cosmetics protect them against microbial growth, and are usually easy to identify by name, such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben.
Manufacturers use parabens in personal care products as preservatives and antimicrobials. FDA says there’s no evidence so far that current exposures to parabens are a health hazard, but critics point out other factors which relate to ‘how much and for how long’ exposure can be safe. They also underline the fact that sometimes health effects in humans are not clear for compounds that have been studied in animals and cell culture.
There have been expert opinions that chemicals such as parabens and phthalates can interfere with body’s hormones. Consequently, possible health risks could include chronic diseases, cancers and a host of developmental disorders and fertility problems.
As Washington Post earlier reported, what is beyond doubt is: Phthalates and parabens are not inert substances; they have biological activity. They act on estrogen pathways, which in humans have been associated with such varied effects as decreased sperm count, endometriosis and insulin resistance.
The manufacturers using parabens in cosmetics admit that in smaller ratio, these pose no significant health risks. That makes it difficult to determine what dosage would pose potential health risks. If a product’s label says phthalate-free or paraben-free, that provides clarity. Otherwise, there’s no way to be sure, says John Meeker, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan. “It could be in there under vague names like ‘fragrances.’ ”
So, to avoid these chemicals altogether, what should you do? Meeker says that, if given the option, he’ll choose a phthalate-free or paraben-free product. Another expert (Brody) advises using fragrance-free products. “That gets rid of a whole class of chemicals,” she says.
If parabens are used mainly as preservatives, in order to increase the product shelf life then the question arises: are there no safer substitute ingredients that could do the same? As manufacturer of natural skin care products, Herbally Radiant has carried many tests of its own, and found that the Essential Oils in the beauty formulations serve the purpose far better : they (i) act as excellent preservatives, (ii) offer gentle soothing fragrances to customers, and (iii) provide immense advantages of aromatherapy. It was noticed that the customers who use Herbally Radiant’s signature series (anti-aging products) under the brand: Rejuvenating and Radiant, which contain fine combination of Essential Oils, have experienced, and testified, the unique calming effects of the Essential Oils in these products, which have transformed their skin.
Parabens and such chemical ingredients are less expensive, and, therefore, might make better profit sense as a business, but these are potentially risky, whereas the plant-based Essential Oils, wonderful gift of nature, serve only one purpose: protection and revitalization of skin.