“No parabens” is the motto of people who are used to carefully reading the list of ingredients. Are they right to avoid this component?

Sometimes a broad discussion of the action of certain ingredients is a really important phenomenon that helps people maintain their he alth. Sometimes - another marketing ploy against the backdrop of increasing consumer awareness. We have already understood the beneficial and harmful properties of silicones. This time, let's talk about parabens, which are also among the "victims" of such discussions.Everything is not so simple, and before passing a verdict on them, it is necessary to study the properties of these substances in more detail and get acquainted with the opinion of scientists on this matter. How can parabens in cosmetics be harmful and are they harmful at all? Let's figure it out right now, but at the same time we'll see if it's worth choosing natural paraben-free cosmetics as a replacement.

Parabens in cosmetics - what is it?

Parabens are chemical compounds (to be more precise, we are talking about esters of para-Hydroxybenzoic acid), which are famous for their antiseptic properties and have been used as preservatives for a long time, both in the food industry and in pharmaceuticals and beauty industry.

Parabens can be synthesized or obtained from plants in the laboratory - yes, there are natural parabens, which are found, for example, in cranberries, lingonberries, sour.

In the composition of medicines or cosmetics, parabens allow you to extend their shelf life by preventing the growth of bacteria.

What are the dangers of parabens? This is where the controversy begins. The trouble with parabens began when scientists studying breast cancer discovered high concentrations of parabens in tumors. And some have linked it to the use of cosmetics containing parabens (like deodorants that are applied to the underarm area).

Until now, it has not been possible to accurately confirm that it is cosmetics that affect the development of this type of cancer, but even a hypothesis was enough for a huge number of people to take up arms against parabens.

Properties of parabens in cosmetics: harm and benefit

Parabens are the most popular preservative today. What is the reason for such a choice?

  1. Antibacterial

    Thanks to parabens in jars and tubes with cosmetics, there will be no active reproduction of bacteria and fungi. This means that they can be used safely for longer without fear that the skin will react with irritation or inflammation.

  2. The ability to stabilize the formula

    Another advantage of parabens is that they perform a stabilizing function in the formulas of funds: their presence in the formula maintains the desired consistency and allows all components to coexist harmoniously with each other.

It should be noted separately that parabens, unlike other preservatives, are effective even in small concentrations. Manufacturers who emphasize the natural composition of their cosmetics and the absence of parabens can use natural preservatives. However, they are needed in much larger quantities to keep the product fresh for a long time. In addition, organic acids and essential oils, which play the role of preservatives in such cosmetics, are strong allergens. There is a high risk that these products will cause a negative reaction in the skin.

The downside is that parabens can also cause allergies.But long-term practice of their use shows that in the case of parabens, the risks are much less. It is no coincidence that they are used even in the food industry. Maximum safety is ensured by international standards governing the permissible concentration of parabens. The creators of cosmetics use these substances in a limited amount - necessary for microbiological protection.

What color cosmetics contain parabens?

Parabens are needed primarily in products with a liquid, cream or gel texture. In a word, in cosmetics that contain water. A humid environment is favorable for the reproduction of bacteria, and parabens prevent this.

  1. Foundation

    Due to the presence of parabens, tonal foundations “live” from six months to 1.5 years. The expiration date in this case is affected not so much by the concentration of preservatives as by the texture of the product - so, the fluid will serve you less than a thick and dense foundation.

  2. Macara

    Mascara cannot be made without parabens, but its shelf life is the shortest compared to other beauty products: it is recommended to use mascara no longer than 3 months after opening the package.

  3. Concealer

    Parabens extend the shelf life of this product by up to about six months.

  4. Lip Gloss

    With these tools, the story is the same as with the category of concealers: you can only do makeup with them for about six months. But without parabens, this period would be even shorter.

Liquid shadows, highlighters, bronzers, lipsticks and other water-based products also contain parabens.The most common are ethylparabens and methylparabens. They are safe and resistant to external influences, including thermal. But dry shadows will last you a long time and without parabens in the composition. True, by the end of the expiration date, they most likely will no longer fit perfectly. But from them it will be possible to make lipstick of an unusual shade. Just follow this video tutorial.

How are parabens labeled in cosmetics?

We have already talked about the general rules that will help you easily check the composition of cosmetics here. Since parabens are a whole group of substances, in order to recognize them on the packaging, you will have to remember a few basic names and symbols. Parabens that are often used in the manufacture of cosmetics include methylparaben (it can be found in the list of ingredients under the code E218 and E219), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216), butylparaben, benzylparaben, isobutylparaben.

In addition, among the designations of parabens are metagin, propagin, nipagin, nipazol. They can even be combined under the general name "hydroxybenzoic acids" , without specifying the details.

Does it make sense to choose cosmetics without parabens and sulfates?

Today, the list of brands producing cosmetics without parabens and sulfates is quite large. The absence of these ingredients in the composition of their products, many manufacturers use as an advertisement, and therefore it may seem that such beauty products are becoming more common. However, statistics say otherwise: more than 75% of cosmetics still contain parabens.

Those who are not going to give up cosmetics with parabens completely, but are still afraid of this controversial ingredient, should pay attention to thorough skin cleansing.

What is the best way to wash off paraben cosmetics? One of the main "working" means is micellar water - the features of its production allow you not to use sulfates and parabens. The same goes for many hydrophilic oils.

It's good that cosmetics lovers have a choice. Science is not yet able to provide accurate data proving that parabens in cosmetics are harmful and cause life-threatening diseases. But for those who want to eliminate any risks associated with parabens, products labeled paraben-free may be preferred.

It is important to understand that the absence of parabens does not always make cosmetics 100% safe. So, substitutes for parabens are broponol, quaternium-15, butylhydroxyanisole (E320 or BHA), butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) - and these substances have been proven toxic and carcinogenic. However, they are found not only in cosmetics, but also in food.

Should I trust natural cosmetics?

The paraben-free label is also used by manufacturers of natural beauty products. They use vitamins E and C, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, propolis, grapefruit seed extract as preservatives.The last component has gained particular popularity as a natural disinfectant and preservative.

In the case of natural cosmetics, the question arises of how effective the preservatives used in it are. If methyl and ethyl parabens in cosmetics, as a rule, are no more than 0.4% of the composition, then natural substitutes will be required in much higher concentrations to compare with them in terms of strength. Do not forget that many natural ingredients that can increase the shelf life of cosmetics can cause allergic reactions.

How do you feel about cosmetics with parabens? Write your review in the comments.