Thursday 20 November 2014


Often, just mentioning the word ‘parabens’ is enough to freak a beauty gal out. So you’re probably wondering, “WTF are parabens and why all the fuss?!”.

Well, parabens are chemicals widely used as preservatives - they are the most common preservatives used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Using preservatives in cosmetic products is very common and very beneficial as they prevent the growth of bacteria and other germs, helping the products to last longer.

The reason 'parabens’ is such a big buzz word in the cosmetics world is due to the implied link between the use of parabens and breast cancer.

This implication comes from the fact that parabens contain tiny levels of estrogenic activity, activity that can be attributed to certain breast tumours. However the estrogenic effect of parabens is incredibly weaker than that of natural estrogens like estradiol. Even when parabens are included in cosmetic products, the concentration of parabens is always extremely low. More importantly, although past research has suggested a link between parabens and breast cancer, direct evidence of this correlation has yet to be shown.

I personally think parabens are given a bad rap. However, if you’d rather err on the side of caution, I’d recommend using paraben-free beauty products. There are a number of great beauty brands out there that do not include parabens in any of their products, Jurlique is a personal favourite!
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