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What are parabens and their consequences

Parebens are substances that are found in many cosmetic and beauty products. Until a very few years ago we knew little or nothing about parabens. We did not even know that we were using products that contained them and that they could produce not so positive effects on the body and health.

But what are parabens and their consequences ? If you are one of those who wonder, in the following AgroCorrn article we will explain it to you.

You may also be interested in: What are the harmful foods for health
  1. What are parabens
  2. How to identify parabens in products
  3. What dangers and effects they can have on health
  4. Products with parabens

What are parabens

We can say that parabens are the preservative substances in cosmetic and beauty products. Therefore, they would be similar to preservative substances, artificial or natural, that are used in food to preserve food against the action of microorganisms and that prevent them from spoiling more quickly and last longer.

Thus, parabens prevent the cosmetic product from being degraded once opened by the action of microorganisms or from losing its effectiveness. Parabens are the most used type of preservative in cosmetics and beauty products, although they can also be combined with other preservatives.

However, not all parabens are synthetic substances, but some are organic substances that can be found, for example, in blueberries, and are metabolized once they are ingested. Although it is true that up to 90% of the parabens most used today for this function have been artificially synthesized.

How to identify parabens in products

Reading the labels of the products we consume is an act that we must introduce into our routine every time we walk into a store. Learning to read labels and recognize the acronyms by which different products are marked, such as parabens or palm oil , will make us responsible consumers.

In this sense, you should know that parabens are identified within the European Union with the use of the following codes :

  • E214
  • E215
  • E216
  • E217
  • E218
  • E219

Although it is also possible to identify them with the following names :

  • etylparaben.
  • Mropyl paraben.
  • Benzylparaben.
  • Ethylparaben.
  • Butylparaben.
  • Sodium benzoate.
  • Sodium.
  • Ammonium.
  • Laureate sulphate.

These substances are mainly found in makeup products, hair ranges, shaving products or moisturizers. The Cosmetic Ingredent Review (CIR) established in 1984 that the use of parabens in cosmetic products does not represent any health risk, as long as it does not exceed 25%. However, this study was reopened in 2003 to investigate the safety of parabens in women and children, but it was concluded that it was not necessary to change this report.

What dangers and effects they can have on health

Despite conclusions in previous studies, in 2004 the alarm was raised when a scientific study was published by oncologists from the University of Reading (Edinburgh). This study identified traces of parabens in 90% of the samples from analyzed patients with breast cancer and its results were published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology . However, it was not possible to conclude that there was a relationship between parabens and cancer formation.

The usual concentrations of parabens in many cosmetic and beauty products usually vary between 0.01% and 0.3% and those concentrations would not be a cause for concern, at least in the short to medium term. Although there are no scientific studies that confirm the relationship of parabens with cancer or other pathologies, it is proposed that they could have consequences in :

  • Endocrine system : It is believed that the methyl, propyl and butyl forms can act as endocrine disruptors, as they can interfere with glandular activity and hormonal production.
  • Premature aging : Although many are used in cosmetic and beauty products, research has found that they can accelerate the aging process of the skin. Researchers at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan found that methyl parabens can greatly increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV light exposure.
  • Pseudoestrogenic effect : In 2004, researchers found that parabens could act like estrogens, which can increase the risk of developing estrogen-positive breast cancer.
  • Male reproductive system : Parabens have also been associated with interference with the normal functioning of the male reproductive system. It was identified that the absorption of parabens from commercial products was associated with lower levels of sperm and testosterone.

Products with parabens

As we have already explained, parabens are found mostly in beauty and cosmetic products :

  • Bath gels.
  • Shampoos
  • Makeup.
  • Face creams
  • Hydrating creams.
  • Anti-stretch mark creams.
  • Anti-cellulite creams.
  • Sunscreens.
  • Confectionery products.
  • Nuts.
  • Topical medications.
  • Shaving foam.
  • Hair waxes.
  • Gominas.

If you want to read more articles similar to What are parabens and their consequences , we recommend that you enter our category of Foods harmful to health .

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Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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