Posted on January 01 2020
Many of us have grown accustomed to checking food labels for ingredients, but how often do we check personal care products for toxins?
If you're anything like me, not often enough. I only began educating myself about product ingredients a few years ago while searching for an aluminum free deodorant, and goodness is there a lot to learn.
In this post, we'll briefly explore parabens and how they're identified.
First things first thought..what the heck are parabens? The short answer - they're preservatives used to prevent bacterium from growing in products including personal care products.
Found in shampoos, conditioners, facial and shower cleansers, lotions and scrubs, these preservatives have been described as "endocrine-disrupting chemicals [that] can be absorbed through skin, blood and the digestive system" (safecosmetics.org).
Determining if a personal care product is paraben-free can be as simple as knowing what ingredients to look for on the product's bottle, or listed in the product details - if shopping online. Just as we'd check the back of a box of pasta for ingredients, - ingredients other than flour and water just won't cut it - we can check the back of our favorite shampoos, conditioners, facial cleansers and other personal care products for labels such as "paraben-free" or "no parabens"; or for ingredients ending in parabens: ethylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben; Methylparaben and propylparaben being the most common.
Confession, I don't always check for parabens. Mostly because I don't remember while I'm shopping and if I do remember to check, I don't always remember the name of each paraben. If you struggle with this also, then I have a bit of good news. Many natural cosmetic manufacturers have found alternatives "to parabens to prevent microbial growth in personal care products". Which is good for everyone.
So the next time you're browsing natural cosmetics or personal care products, remember to check the labels. "Paraben-free" or "no parabens" is the way to go.
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