What’s the deal with parabens, huh? It’s like they say they're bad for you, but they’re in so many beauty products! Did you read that in Jerry Seinfeld's voice? I sure hope you did.
You could easily say “This product is free of parabens” and people just feel better about buying it and using it. We’ll get into those other chemical compounds another time, but let’s break parabens down to a science. ;)
My blistex actually is paraben free. So yes, I used it as my thumbnail because it matches my nails perfectly, lol. I digress. I want to talk parabens and why you should not be worried about them...with some respectable sources as my backup of course, lol.
Q: What are parabens?
A: Parabens are chemical compounds. Some common ones are methyparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. For those of you who were fortunate enough to skip out on Organic chemistry (Trust me, you're very lucky), the prefixes indicate how many carbon atoms are attached to three Hydrogen atoms. The methyl group is attached to 1 carbon, ethyl to 2 carbons, propyl to 3 carbons, and butyl to 4 carbons. I'm only explaining because these are probably the ones you see when check the ingredients of shelved consumer item.
Q: What is the purpose of parabens?
A: When used in small amounts in cosmetics, they serve as preservatives and preservatives prevent the growth of harmful mold and bacteria. This is to protect order to protect both the products and consumers. (1) So I mean, that's good right? Thinking of how long ago these items were in production to how long they've been sitting on the shelves.
Q: Are parabens FDA (Federal Drug Administration) regulated?
A: We live in a highly regulated chemical and drug government, I know this because I’ve worked at a chemical company in the regulatory and compliance department, and everything is fact checked, checked again, and then one more again. Everything is about safety, until an adverse reaction is revealed obviously. However, under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act products used in cosmetics do not need FDA approval. (1)
“It ain’t that serious”
- Management, aka the FDA
Q: Can parabens affect your health?
A: Currently, there is no proof of this. There are chemists, researchers, and product developers looking into it, but as of now...parabens are in food. Yes, food. Parabens are also antimicrobials (microorganism-killing agents) that prevent your food from spoiling. (2)
Two items that I own that contain parabens are Vaseline Cocoa Butter lotion and Maybelline Fit ME Foundation...pretty common in a girl's collection, I think.
So, I really want to say “A lil paraben ain’t never hurt nobody” but people react differently to many things and you never know what these scientists could find in the future..but for now, we should relax a bit lol.
Also, If you care...methylparaben = methyl-4-hydroxybenzoate, ethylparaben = ethyl-4-hydroxybenzoate, propylparaben = propyl-4-hydroxybenzoate, and butyl= butyl-4-hydroxybenzoate
Here are some sites to start with if you want to to do your own research!