One of the most talked about additives, commonly used in skincare are parabens. Out of all of the harmful additives and ingredients that are typically used in skincare, this one is the most widely known. So much so that many popular skincare companies have gone to specific lengths to have any type of paraben removed from their products.
Parabens are preservatives that are synthetic, and are often used as fillers in beauty and skin care products. They are also used in the food and pharmaceutical industry. It is sometimes difficult to ascertain what a paraben is, as there are several and they go by different names. Common parabens are propylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben.
Parabens In Skincare Products
The fundamental use for the paraben in skin care products is they allow the product to last for months, sometimes years, without going bad. Anything that is meant to slow or impede the natural course of viability in a product should be considered dangerous. Numerous studies have been done over the last two decades that have lead to huge concerns. It is estimated that the body can absorb up to five pounds of cosmetic chemicals per year. That's terrifying to think about. Chemicals have no business coming into contact with our internal systems, especially when they are dangerous or potentially harmful.
One of the ways that parabens are dangerous is that they have the capacity to mimic the hormone estrogen. This can disrupt the endocrine system. This system is incredibly crucial to the health of the body and hormone function. Hormones control weight, mood and body temperature. There are several studies that have shown that an elevated exposure to estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer. Synthetic chemicals that mask themselves as estrogen can directly stimulate the division of breast cells. Because synthetic estrogen is not easily broken down by the body, this can lead to trouble. A university in the UK found traces of methylparaben in human breast tumors. That is utterly frightening!
Another problem with parabens is that they can lead to early puberty in adolescents. Girls and boys alike can be negatively impacted by the estrogen mimicry that parabens so often cause. There have been studies that link the earlier ages that hormonal changes have been seen in recent years, to some type of environmental factor. Well, parabens could definitely be it. If you remember going through puberty at all, you remember it being weird and difficult. Our kids bodies do not need to be changing prematurely because of chemicals. Also, boys that are exposed to increased levels of estrogen may develop breasts and suffer from testicular enlargement.
Paraben exposure can also negatively affect the reproductive systems of men. Again, the estrogen mimicry can trick the system into thinking the female hormone is wanted or needed, when it isn't. A study conducted in Japan stated that male rats that were exposed to parabens, had significantly decreased sperm production after only four weeks. This type of thing has the ability to really mess up the natural flow and order of an incredibly intricate and imperative internal system.
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