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Parabens: What are they and should we avoid them?

General chemical structure of a paraben


What are they?

Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Chemically, they are a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid.

Where do you find them?

They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, makeup and toothpaste.

Basically, almost every beauty product type you will use.

How are they made?

All commercially used parabens are synthetically produced by the esterification of para-hydroxybenzoic acid with the appropriate alcohol, such as methanol, ethanol, or n-propanol. Para-Hydroxybenzoic acid is in turn produced industrially from a modification of the Kolbe-Schmitt reaction, using potassium phenoxide and carbon dioxide.

Why are parabens in beauty products?

Parabens are active against a broad spectrum of microorganisms. However, their antibacterial mode of action is not well understood.

So, in plain English, parabens are chemicals, cooked up and added to your cosmetics to keep them from getting mouldy.

Should you avoid them?

Most of the available paraben toxicity data are from single-exposure studies, meaning one type of paraben in one type of product. According to paraben research this is relatively safe, posing only a negligible risk to the endocrine system. However, since many types of parabens in many types of products are used commonly, the scientists don't really know how the additive and cumulative risk of multiple paraben exposure from daily use of multiple cosmetic products!

Some of the heath considerations include; Allergic reactions, Breast Cancer, Estrogenic Activity, Early Puberty, Decreased Sperm Levels and Skin Ageing.

So, now we know what parabens are.

Are you going to avoid them?

Evanesce Crème is completely natural and organic, therefore, entirely free of all man-made chemicals, including parabens. It can do so many great things for your skin, that you could replace quite a few of your beauty jars and tubes with just Evanesce; quickly and easily eliminating a range of parabens you use daily on your skin!

Use Evanesce Crème to:

  • Moisturise – you and your kids skin, even the youngest, most delicate
  • Remove Make Up
  • Lip Balm
  • Treat Dry Spots and Cracked Heals
  • Shave
  • Calm Insect Bites



Extra reading about parabens

Nagel JE, Fuscaldo JT, Fireman P (1977). Paraben allergy
Philippa Darbre (2004). Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours.
Handa O  (2006)  Methylparaben potentiates UV-induced damage of skin keratinocytes

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