Up to 60 percent of whatever we place on our skin goes into our blood stream. Yet companies are blatantly adding ingredients to our personal care products and our food deemed questionably safe. These include parabens, synthetic preservatives suspected to cause problems like weight gain, skin aging and certain types of cancer. A consumer’s only recourse is to learn how to find paraben-free cosmetics, cleaning products and food items. Read on to learn how to find paraben-free cosmetics.

Understand that companies say they use some form of parabens to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination. Many don’t consider it harmful and have no qualms about adding it to their ingredients label. However, there is also evidence that parabens may disrupt the body’s hormone systems by duplicating the effects of estrogen. These “preservatives” are in our salad dressing, mustard, mayonnaise, jam, soft drinks, candy and more.

Check your product labels for these terms: Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Parahydroxybenzoic acid and Parahydroxybenzoate. They are all forms of parabens. If possible, get rid of everything in your house with those ingredients.

Start buying paraben-free products. The Internet is a vast resource for the consumer who wants safe, chemical-free products and food items.

Know that words like “natural” and “organic” does not mean paraben-free. Don’t be misled by the front label. Among the ingredients, printed in small letters at the bottom of the back label is where you will find the parabens family.

Be educated. Household cleaning products aren’t required to disclose ingredients unless they contain antimicrobial pesticides, like disinfectants. Makers of cosmetics are required to list their ingredients unless it is fragrance and that is exempt as a “trade secret.”

Become part of the solution. There is food out there that is 100 percent organic actives and free of parabens, petrochemicals, dyes, preservatives and other additives. Parabens have been replaced with grapefruit seed extract and Vitamin E in many cosmetics and essential oils like cinnamon, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon and tea tree are being distilled and turned into natural preservatives.

References and Resources

Organic and Edible Natural Cosmetics