04.03.2021

The label on parabens

Toolumnist BeautyHack and founder of the brand of natural cosmetics (@natureal.ua) Vita Lyasota – about how dangerous parabens, which are used in cosmetics and what they can be replaced.

The background

Этикетка, о парабенахA couple of years ago. “lived” his life and was only interested in cosmetic technologists – the simple townsfolk was not to have any work. With the popularization of healthy lifestyles, organic foods and cosmetics around the video caused heated debate. Some experts insisted on the Carcinogenicity of parabens and their deadly danger, others asserted that these substances are completely harmless. And how actually? Let’s try to understand.

Parabens – chemicals that are used in cosmetics as preservatives, protecting against the reproduction in the media of bacteria and pathogens. They are used in cosmeceuticals for more than 80 years.

“Ancestor” of all parabens – benzoic acid. In ancient times it was called “the dewy incense” and used to preserve fruits – this process is described still by Nostradamus. In 1875 physiologist Ernst Leopold proved that benzoic acid is a good antifungal agent, after which its popularity grew. Salicylic acid (or hydroxybenzoic) can be found everywhere: from fish to raspberries.

Parabens, as a separate “species” used in 1925. For the first time got them from products of vegetable origin (for example, methylparaben is blueberries). Those parabens that are used in cosmeceuticals is now produced synthetically. They are added in media with a high content of water phase to avoid growth of bacteria.

Parabens are even in food products: bread, cakes, cakes. You’ll find them among the ingredients of the sauces – they hide behind notations like E-214 E-216, and others. For their classification developed a special system. But they all start with the letter E.

Parabens – ubiquitous, I tell you! They are in shampoos and conditioners, tonic and lotions, Foundation creams and powders, medicinal ointments and candles. Only one paraben is used in 16 000 products! And then the question arises: why, with such popularity of cosmetic giants began to abandon the parabens, and the inscription “no parabens” became almost a sign of quality?

What do they say?

Let’s first define what should be the “ideal” preservative. The list of requirements is very impressive. He must be stable and effective. It is desirable that the efficiency lasted for several years (this is the expiration date is often listed on the creams). The ideal preservative should be inexpensive, be combined with other ingredients in the product do not cause allergies and do not accumulate in the body. And another point – in the manufacture of cosmetics it is possible to use only approved substances tested. Alas, but so far this requirement more or less correspond to only parabens. Here, a small digression. Alternatives to parabens are. But they do not provide the same long shelf life. We are talking about months, not years. But more on that later.

Этикетка, о парабенах

The scandal surrounding parabens started in 2003 after British molecular biologist Philip Darbre published the results of a study of cancer of the breast. It turned out that in 18 of the 20 cases contained parabens. Advocates of this method of preservation was immediately repulsed “the ball”, stating that in fact, these substances are completely metaboliziruetsa and excreted. But the flames added the fact that butyl and propyl parabens make hormone-like substances, similar in structure to the estrogens.

Supporters of parabens argued (and argue) that the results are unreliable Darbre: 20 – not statistics. In 2004, North – West University conducted another study aimed to investigate the relationship between breast cancer and use of deodorants (that they believe the most likely cause of breast cancer, as 60% of tumours localized in the upper quadrant is the closest station to the armpits). Direct evidence of the dangers of parabens scientists have not received. But “rehabilitation” of these preservatives are not followed.

A year later, a group of scientists under the leadership of Gandhi, the Golden and Wolmar published an article which stated that parabens are not dangerous phytoestrogens, contained in food products.

Этикетка, о парабенах

Nevertheless, in 2006 the European Commission introduced restrictions on the use of parabens in cosmetics and food products. In the US, for example, according to the set standards, the amount of parabens should not exceed 0.03% of the total weight of the cosmetic. In Europe this figure is slightly higher – 0.04%. Three years ago some types of parabens were officially forbidden to use: Isopropyl-, Isobutyl-, Pentyl – and Benzylparabenes. But proponents of synthetic preservatives still argue that this measure does not make any sense and the Commission went to such lengths to reassure the public.

Yes, today the official version. considered to be relatively safe. But research does not stop. Every day there are new information that cannot be ignored.

To avoid cosmetics with parabens daily care or not is a personal choice. But for the sake of completeness significantly better to study the information in the Internet and in books.

Investigation

Этикетка, о парабенах

Immediately start with the spoon “fly”. In cosmetics that is marketed as natural may also contain parabens. Pay attention to the expiration date! Unfortunately, natural preservatives, can stop the multiplication of pathogenic microorganisms in the cream more than six months, does not exist (and if they exist, their effect on the body Malyshkina).

To strong enough natural preservatives include essential oils (e.g., grapefruit oil), extract of eucalyptus leaves and algae, propolis (a powerful anti-inflammatory properties, but can cause allergies), azulene (derived from chamomile) and others.

Recently, the “green” began to frequently use oil on them, which is known for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties since ancient times. Previously, it is practically not used in cosmetics because of the strong peculiar smell. But over time it learned to mask with the help of essential oils.

I want to note that cosmetics after expiry date cannot be used. Breeding there, the bacteria can be more dangerous than the “army” of sulfates and parabens!

Prefer sealed tubes with dispensers and never, under any circumstances, do not take makeup with wet hands. For this thoughtful manufacturers have come up with a special spatula and spoon.

Pay attention to the temperature storage mode. Some tools place in the refrigerator. If you notice that the consistency, color or smell has changed, his place in the trash and not on a shelf in the bathroom.

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