The Paraben Project

For a while now, I’ve been trying to limit my intake of high fructose corn syrup, because of studies that indicate possible health issues caused by it.  (Plus, I think sugar tastes better.)  Now, I’ve decided to turn my focus to my health and beauty products.  Lots of them are now advertising “Paraben Free”, which is an indication that companies are making a shift (hopefully) to produce healthier products.  The reason: a recent study indicating a possible link between breast cancer and parabens. (Read here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111223348.htm)  While the study isn’t 100% proof that parabens cause breast cancer, it’s worth considering…

What are Parabens?  Parabens are preservatives added to health & beauty products that help prevent fungus and bacteria growth.  They’re in lots of products.

Just Out of Curiosity:  I went through my bathroom closet and medicine cabinet to see how many items contained parabens.  I was shocked.  Not only did tons of the products contain them, some had parabens listed in the first few ingredients.  Even worse, many of my all-time-favorite products (that I use every day!) contained parabens. Benefit’s “That Gal” brightening face primer contains SEVEN different parabens!

But…  Not all of the products had ingredients listed.  I guess some of them may have been on the product’s initial packaging, which I threw away.  I did some online research for some items’ ingredients list.

And…  Don’t assume that one product contains parabens just because a simliar product does.  Pond’s cold cream in “cucumber” does, the “classic” one doesn’t.

My Plan:  Use up the rest of the products containing parabens (except the stuff I don’t love, which I can justify throwing away now).  I marked all the paraben-containing products with a “P” in Sharpie so I don’t forget.  When they’re gone, I’ll find products to replace them and hope that the stuff I love is re-formulated in the future.  Yoplait stopped using high fructose corn syrup in their yogurt, so there’s hope that beauty product companies will take notice of consumer concerns and change their manufacturing process, too.

Disclaimer:  Some of the items in this photo have been in my closet for a while.  It’s possible they’ve been re-formulated to not contain parabens, due to lots of attention to this issue lately.  This photo does not show every item I own that contains parabens.  I ran out of room.

In Summary: From my point of view, it’s nearly impossible to avoid everything that might cause cancer – just like it’s impossible to consume all the food/beverages scientists say you should have to prevent this or that disease.  So, what I think everyone should do is assess their personal risk for certain diseases (due to environment, genetic factors, etc.) and make their lifestyle choices accordingly. There’s no history of breast cancer in my family, so I don’t worry about it as much as I do about other cancers, which I’m taking measures to prevent. That being said, if you do believe you’re at an increased risk of developing breast cancer, you might want to avoid using products that contain parabens.

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3 Comments

  1. This is one of my favorite posts! I’m going to link it up today in one of my posts, if that is okay?

    Reply
    • Always glad to get the message out. We all need to be more aware of what’s in the stuff we buy/use! Even if the risk is small, if I can avoid it, I will.

      Reply
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