Parabens: A Silent Killer!

Have you ever heard of this term before or even if heard, you just ignored it, right? Well, I would suggest you to stop and think. Let me first introduce you to this term. Parabens are one of the most extensively used chemical preservatives that inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungus and microbes in your cosmetic products. Any beauty product that possesses methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben has parabens. But parabens do more than they actually seem to.

Parabens contain estrogen-mimicking properties that interfere with our endocrine system posing a threat of breast cancer. These chemicals penetrate into the skin and have also been found in breast tumor samples. Parabens are mostly used in shampoos, moisturizers, deodorants, make up items, and face washes. Apart from these, they are also found in food and pharmaceutical items.

Talking about research and study based analysis, let me throw some light on facts and figures. According to a study by the University of Reading in the United Kingdom in the year 2004, concentrations of methylparaben were found in human breast tumors. However the study only confirmed the presence of parabens in tumors but it did not confirm that it’s the cause of tumors. Later in the year 2012, a study confirmed the presence of parabens in 99 per cent of tested cancerous breast tissue but again no substantial conclusions could be made regarding the connection between cancer and parabens.

Considering a study published in Toxicity in the year 2006, there is a possibility of skin cancer when in vitro methylparaben is exposed to UV radiation. However this study was also not very much proven through a clinical study. There have been such numerous suggestive studies on the harmful effects of parabens. But my advice to the readers would be: Precaution is always better than cure. When we know something is suspicious then why take a chance and be its victim unless something equally concrete does not invalidate our doubt about parabens.

Lets talk in detail about the negative effects of parabens on our body.

Effect on Endocrine System

As talked before, according to various studies methyl, propyl, and butyl forms of parabens have the tendency to interfere with endocrine functioning system increasing the probability of breast cancer. Parabens are endocrine disruptors stored in the body tissue and they interfere with glandular activity and hormone production causing developmental and reproductive disorders.

Premature Aging

Based on a study, it has been found that methyl paraben accelerates your skin sensitivity to ultraviolet rays making your skin cells die at a much greater speed than normal. Due to which your skin looks dull leading to premature skin aging. You must always check for methylparabens while buying skin care products.

Effect on Male Reproductive System

Apart from affecting and mimicking estrogen hormones in females, parabens have been reported to affect male reproductive system too. Due to its absorption into the skin through the use of cosmetic products, low sperm counts and reduced level of testosterone have been found in men.

Pseudo-Estrogen Effects

Parabens have the ability to act like estrogen putting women at a high risk of developing breast cancer. Application of paraben containing cosmetic products on the skin leads to seeping of these chemicals to the underlying tissue. Due to this, parabens mimic natural estrogen and can promote the growth of estrogen-positive breast tumors.