#AskHauterfly: Why You Should Be Using Paraben-Free Products
When it comes to beauty and skincare, we’re all guilty of being overly active in researching and doing a literal background check on what we buy. After all, we don’t want to be putting crazy unhealthy things on our skin, right? Since half of what’s on the label is pretty much gibberish to us non-scientific girls, we eventually turn to reviews from experts and our most loved YouTube gurus. And the one term that keeps popping up is ‘paraben-free’. We’ve all had the salesperson throw that “it’s paraben-free” line at us while purchasing these products. So what exactly is it? What does it really mean? And why is it a good thing to look out for products that are free of this chemical?
As you might’ve thought, parabens are preservatives that are used in makeup and personal care products such as shampoos, soaps, and moisturisers. Let’s break it down in semi-chemical terms: paraben is a compound formed from acid and alcohol of p-hydroxybenzoic. Essentially it is used to extend the shelf-life of the product and avoid any growth of bacteria with time. Now that may be all scientific-y, but acid and alcohol together is something most people should keep away from their skin. Even though it hasn’t fully been proven yet, extensive use of parabens is suggested to lead to breast cancer due to its mimicking activity of estrogen (i.e. an increased level of estrogen in the body can lead to breast cancer). Eeeks!
All that for a pretty face? Totally not worth it! The most common parabens according to the FDA are methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. So even though you might not understand the rest of ingredients on that label, make sure you avoid these as much possible in your beauty and skincare products.