Parabens, YAY or NAY?

WILL we EVER agree whether parabens are good or bad?

I don't think anyone will ever truly have the final say on this topic, haha. Simply because it's a question similar to what came first, the chicken or the egg? However, I hope to offer you some facts that I find interesting and looking for your input on the topic.

Lets dive in!

What are parabens?

Parabens are preservatives commonly found in cosmetics and many pharmaceutical products. Parabens are commonly used for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. What this means is these two ingredients kill bacteria before it starts or not allow it to develop and spread once it has occurred. One would think this is a good thing right? We do not want anything funny growing in our makeup, shampoo bottles or in our skin care regimens... So why have parabens been given such a bad rap?

Examples of natural fungicidal that we all know are tea tree oil, citronella oil, oregano oil rosemary monocerin and milk just to name a few. While we know that these are totally safe to use from the womb to the tomb I am not convinced that these are the ingredients people are saying NAY to!

Parabens have been used since the 1950's. We have put it in everything to help prevent cultures from forming on that dirty bar of soap or your stick of deodorant. The parabens in the soap kill accumulated bacterial and its ready for the next use. Personally, Im wondering if more rashes, skin sensitivities or skin issues would occur if we were to not use parabens?! One of the main ingredients that is said to be a real problem is sulfur.  However, sulfur is one of the best active ingredients that will help fight rosacea, dermatitis, and help treat acne. The sulfur is able to get to the deep root of the skin impurity, draw the skin concerns to the surface of the skin while the other steps in your skin regimen combat the issues in the deeper layers of the skin. This mean that the redness will disappear as the inflammation reduces and the smaller break outs will discontinue. The deeper cystic blemishes may take a longer time to fully heal on the surface of the skin but rest assured your mild sulfur wash will work to treat the skin impurities leaving you with less frequent break outs and eventually FLAWLESS SKIN!

What does the Cancer Society and the FDA say about parabens?

Many tests have been done to gain a better understanding of what parabens can do to us over a long period of time to answer these 3 most common questions:
  • Can parabens be cancer causing?
  • Does it increase our hormonal levels causing women to start menopause early?
  • Are parabéns bad for us when absorbed through our skin?

The Cancer Society and the FDA cannot find any clear proof that parabens are bad for us. From all the reading I have done it almost reads as if these two organizations support the use of parabens and make mention to the positives of them killing bacteria on site.



Are parabens and sulfur the same?

No they are not. Sulfur is what many of us know as that rotten egg smell. It is a mineral on the periodic table of elements that plays an important role in the health of our bones, teeth, skin, hair and muscles. Sulfur is a mineral commonly used by dermatologists to treat skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, acne and dandruff. Sulfur works by shedding the extra layers of the skin with the bacterial issues and fight the bacteria on contact. This allows the damaged skin to flake off and show off the healthy layers of your skin. Sulfur is an oxidant for various bacterias on our skin, scalp and hair making sulfur one of the most important elements for the appearance of our skin and the long term health of our skin, hair and body by encouraging cell turn over and release the excess oils within the skin. Be sure to use a good AM or PM moisturizer applying it to your face, jaw line and neck.

Why has Rodan + Fields chose to use parabens in their skin care products?

'Rodan + Fields® is committed to product safety and efficacy, and compliance with cosmetics regulations. Adequate preservative systems, including parabens, are essential when formulating safe and effective cosmetics. There are no known health risks when preservatives are used within their recommended concentrations. Further, parabens are very effective preservatives at low concentrations, heat stable and behave synergistically with other preservatives. Currently, no other preservatives on the market perform as well as parabens even when maximising their concentration limits.'

My thoughts on parabens

I am a strong believer that we do not need to sterilize everything that we come into contact with. I feel that we all need to have germs to build our immune systems to ward off other germs and viruses. The question that remains with me is how do we know when we need to be more cautions? Do we need to be more cautious when dealing with bacteria vs common germs? When dealing with bacteria it is my opinion this is where we need to be more careful simply because bacterial infections are often difficult to diagnose and treat. While one method of treatment works brilliantly for one it may not work for others! I personally feel more secure knowing that my cosmetic products and skin care products contain parabens to help fight off any fungus that may lay within my mascara or in my bottle of skin care. Remember just because a product may contain parabens there are natural parabens that offer value to our bodies and skin.

Your thoughts

I would love to hear your thought as to whether you say YAY or NAY to parabens. Feel free to comment below. I invite you to join ourcommunity for future blogs all about skin.

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