What are parabens and what do they do in hair and skin care?

What are parabens and what do they do in hair and skin care?

What are parabens and what do they do?

Parabens are chemical preservatives found in cosmetic products like shampoo and skincare, to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. 

How are parabens made?

Parabens used in most shampoos and skincare are synthetically produced, through the esterifaction of para-hydroxybenzoic acid with alcohol - like ethanol, methanol or n-propanol. They are derived from the acid which occurs naturally in vegetables and fruits, like cucumbers and cherries.

What are parabens in shampoo?

It’s common to find parabens in most hair and beauty products, to help them have long shelf-life. They are used in shampoos and other hair products to prevent harmful bacteria from growing and to preserve the formula, especially as these cosmetic items are used in baths and showers and make contact with water - which can cause bacteria and mold to grow.

Why are parabens bad for hair - are they harmful or dangerous? 

Parabens are considered dangerous because the chemicals may affect or disrupt hormones in the body, with some scientific studies reporting they harm fertility and reproductive organs and increase the risk of cancer. In some cases they may also cause skin irritation to those with sensitive complexions or skin conditions.

However, there has been no concrete studies that have confirmed the direct affect of parabens on the body, causing them to be banned. They are still legally safe to use under many government bodies. Another reason why they are deemed safe, is due to the small concentration amounts used in formulas. 

Not all parabens can be used, only specific parabens, which have been safety assessed, are allowed to be use.

For some users, parabens may dry out the hair, irritate the scalp and fade the colour - this depends on the individual.

You can also follow and use proud brands who make products paraben-free, like our range of handmade vegan soap bars.

What are parabens in skincare why are they used in cosmetics?

What do parabens do to skin? The parabens in skincare, preservatives, may irritate the surface by sensitising the skin - which may also lower the protection against UV exposure which causes cancer. They can cause dermatitis - which is skin irritation - and may further cause sore and redness for people with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

What products contain parabens and how to find parabens in products?

There are thousands of products which use parabens, from shampoos and conditioners, to deodorants, foundations and face moisturisers. Body lotions, toners, and powder make-up like blush, can contain them. If you want to know which of your items contain parabens, check out the label for the ingredient list.The key thing to look out for is the word paraben at the end of the ingredient, like Benzlyparaben, Isobutylparaben or propylparaben.

What is paraben-free?

Paraben-free products mean they don’t contain the synthetic chemical preservative, and likely use a different one or a eco-friendly and natural alternative. Some natural ingredients, like Vitamin E, have preserving properties. Although, on their own, they may not necessarily be enough to keep the product completely bacteria or mold-free.

Looking for more products without parabens -why not try our sugar vegan lip scrubs? We worked tirelessly to ensure they are kind to your skin and the environment.

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vegan soaps, lip scrubs and candles you'll love

our handmade soap bars are vegan, homemade in the UK and cruelty-free. there's no palm oil, parabens or SLS in our products and they're designed with you and the earth in mind. soaps have added shea butter for nourishment, whereas lip scrubs are infused with vitamin E and sweet almond oil to help nourish the skin. when it comes to our soy wax candles, they're made up of vegetable wax, eco-friendly cotton wicks and recyclable glass jars which can be re-used or re-purposed to prevent waste.

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