I was traveling to an editorial shoot on last week and somehow became engaged in an interesting conversation with a young lady I sat next to on the train. It started with her complimenting my hair and then her inquiry about what products I use for hair care. I mentioned the brand Jason Products, which is an organic line sold at Whole Foods and online. Given her lack of knowledge about organic products, she asked why was this my brand of choice. As a result of this question, this opened the door for further dialogue about holistic products. When I mentioned the primary reason for me using this line was due to the products being paraben free, she looked amazed yet flustered at the same time. Needless to say, part of my mission to promote awareness was fulfilled right in the midst of this conversation.
Often times, when people hear the words "pareben free" the majority assume it implies that a product is organic. Unfortunately, that is not totally accurate. For those who may not know, many skin care, beauty, and hair care products are made with many natural and vegetable base indredients. Whenever using such natural products, they are subject to mold, bacteria, and other types of toxins unless a preservative of some kind is added in the compound mixture to extend the life of the product. Parabens are perservatives that have been used in beauty products for years to help restore and prevent products from spoilage. Parabens come in many forms and when you read the ingredients in some products you may see terms like esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, from which the name is derived. Common parabens include methylparaben (E number E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216), butylparaben and heptylparaben (E209). Less common parabens include isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben and their sodium salts. The general chemical structure of a paraben symbolizes an alkyl group such as methyl, ethyl, propyl or butyl (Wikipedia 2016). Parabens such as these mentioned are defintely found on many beauty, cosmetics, and hair products and should be avoided at all cost. According to the Good Human, researchers have found parabens in breast tumors and believe there is a relationship between parabens and tumors. In the July 2002 issue of the Archives of Toxicology, Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health reported that exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.” It also appears that parabens can be stored in the body, resulting in a cumulative effect that can damage health over time. Research has been found to link them to cancerous cells, but does not compare results with levels of parabens in noncancerous cells. Overall the link with cancer, hormonal imbalance, and reproductive diseases have been clinically proven and this is the main reason many wellness professionals as well as doctors warn against using products that contain them.
For women who have a love for and wear cosmetics, it will be helpful to know the following products do contain parabens: Almay, Estee Lauder, Guerlin, John Frieda, Lancome, L'Oreal, Maybelline, Max Factor, Neutrogena, Olay, Orgins, Revlon, and Shiseido just to name a few. To learn more specifically about the actual products containing these paraben bio-compounds, please log onto www.https://home.greens.org.nz/factsheets/cosmetics-which-do-and-which-dont-contain-parabens.
Remember, awareness and education extends far beyond a classroom. It is part of our everyday life and the more knowledge obtained about what products are made of then the wiser you will be with making better decisions as a consumer. As a contributing journalist for Jet Cosmetics and having researched the products sold under this brand, I can confirm all products are free of parabens and are cruelty free. For those shopping with The Vanity Room, please be sure to review and purchase their lipsticks and skin care cosmetics. As a beauty blogger, I often make recommendations about good products to use. Therefore, please be sure to try their Jetology Skin Care anti-aging line. These products yield the best results for men and women seeking to slow down the signs of aging and maintaining nourished skin.
Carmen O'Donnell is a CEW Beauty Insider and Blogger residing in Chicago. She works with several executives in the beauty industry and promotes awareness about the importance of being a holistic consumer. She is also a contributing blogger for Jet Cosmetics. Copyright 2016