‘If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.’ Maybe this does not make sense entirely, because I have some natural soap bars that I am not looking at going, ‘Mmmmm, supper time’ – but you get the point. Our skin is our largest organ and we don’t fully appreciate the transdermal absorbency potential that it has.
Parabens. The word that cannot be heard without the thought of ‘cancer’ crossing our mind. That is if you’ve been following medical articles. So maybe that is just me. So firstly, a brief summary of the research till present:
What it is:
A preservative found in many cosmetics. Take a couple of seconds to inspect the long put-you-to-sleep list of ingredients at the back of your cream, shampoo or make-up and watch that something-paraben pop out. I checked, my body lotion contains not only one, but three different types of parabens. The levels in our body are directly proportional to the amount of personal care products we use, with adult females having the highest levels.
Why it is a concern:
The research is not conclusive. Very few studies have been performed on humans. Parabens have not been shown to cause cancer. BUT (biiiig but) Oestrogen = Cancer (Particularly breast and endometrial cancer). We know this. And, parabens mimic the actions of oestrogen, but they do this to a weak degree which was why they were originally thought to be relatively safe.
However, a new study shows that they encourage the growth of certain breast cancer cells. Warning bells should be ringing everywhere.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females and the rates are increasing. The age at which females are being diagnosed are decreasing. The stats are honestly terrifying. What is worse is that we do not know how to prevent our risk. Oestrogen, our God-given gift that makes us beautiful or at least nicer to look at than our male counterparts, has become our enemy. But here is solid evidence that our cosmetic products are likely putting us at further risk.
Luckily, there are more natural alternatives that are not more expensive than what you would usually use. If you cannot make your own, you can find a variety of these natural products (and environmentally friendly and waste free) at shops like Shop Zero.
*Article written by a female Doctor friend.