The long story on parabens

Parabens are defined as a group of compounds widely used as an antimicrobial preservative in foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products including underarm deodorants. Parabens are highly absorbed through intact skin and gastrointestinal tract and are known to be endocrine disruptors. Parabens are estrogen mimickers and can bind to estrogen cellular receptors. (Rotluge 1998). Parabens essentially prevent the growth of yeast, molds and bacteria in cosmetics and personal care products. In 2004 Darbe measured concentrations of 6 different parabens identified in breast cancer tumors. For many years parabens were considered among those preservatives with low systemic toxicity, primarily allergic reactions, however we have now become aware that these synthetic chemicals due to their mimicking of female hormone, estrogen, are of major concern. In 1999 Organica Magazine questioned the safety of these commonly used products. What is of concern to public health advocates is that while individual products may contain limited amounts of parabens within safe limits set by the US Food and Drug Administration, cumulative exposure to the chemicals from several different products could overload our bodies and contribute to some health considerations, particularly since they mimic estrogens. Fortunately for women today, there are more and more cosmetic companies that are looking at the dangers of parabens and their cosmetics are becoming more paraben-free. Also, there are companies that have taken deliberate steps to be paraben-free so there is a wide range of choices for women today. Usually the label will state if the product is paraben-free, otherwise there are generally parabens in it.


Sheer, Roddy, and Doug Moss. "Should People Be Concerned about Parabens In Beauty Products?" Scientific American Global RSS. E - The Environmental Magazine, 6 Oct. 2014. Web. 4 June 2015.

Steinman, David. "The Dangers of Parabens. "Organica Magazine 1999. Print.