Ingredients 101: Parabens
by Karley Ziegler Mott
“Paraben-free” has been a key selling point among natural personal care products companies over the past few years. Some think it’s just a buzzword. Others try to avoid parabens at all costs.
We do not use parabens in any of our Seed Body Care products. I thought I would take some time and sit and explain what parabens are, and why there is such a controversy surrounding them.
First, parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in beauty and skin care products. For more information on parabens, I have provided a link at the bottom to a great resource from our friends at The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Some people think parabens are okay--that there wasn't enough research out there to call them a real health threat. I think that can finally be put to rest now with the most recently published study:
In the September 1, 2011 edition of Carcinogenesis, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center released their findings showing that both BPA and Methylparaben at even low concentrations found in humans have negative health consequences such as an increased breast cancer risk.
It also went on to mention the ever-increasing male breast cancer rate, which is another alarming trend. These findings are quite similar to an older study on parabens from about 12 years ago. In this compelling study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, parabens were linked to breast cancer as they have shown to be hormone disruptive and lead to tumor growth.
I am the mother of boys. What really made me take notice of this issue was a July 2002 article in the Archives of Toxicology. According to Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health, exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.”
When I read about that study, I vowed never to buy a product made with parabens again to use on my children. So many children's products contain parabens and to think that I could be rubbing a lotion on my boys that could have grave consequences to them later in life was very upsetting to me.
Parabens have been proven to penetrate the skin. As we already know, it's estimated that more than 60% of what we apply to our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. We already know for certain that parabens fall into this group. What is so alarming is that parabens have been shown to mimic the hormones in our body. This is really a big deal. With so much research linking parabens to estrogen-driven cancers, why are companies still formulating with them? There are much better alternatives out there.
Even if you ignore these studies, you do not want to use parabens anyway, even if there was no link to breast cancer.
For example, methylparaben has been linked in several studies to premature aging. So while you're buying your $70 anti-wrinkle cream that is formulated with parabens, keep that in mind.
You truly deserve healthy, better-for-you ingredients.
As always, label reading is a must. Look for these ingredients on your labels. If you see them, remember that they are parabens:
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Also in Lately I've been paying more attention
Summer is officially here! After a long, very unusual spring, it is nice to get outside and relax in the summer sun.
I love the feeling of soaking up the rays, but sun smarts are essential for your skin.
The sun's UV rays can greatly impact the condition of the skin. While sitting with our faces toward the sun makes us feel so good, it is important to remember that we have to be vigilant about our sun care.
My 25 year background in skin care has shown me just how important protecting our skin from UVA and UVB rays truly is. I practice what I preach. I wear sunscreen. I moisturize. I remove my makeup at night.
I am human, though, and I make mistakes. Yesterday was one of those days. It was unusually hot here. I finished up my work after lunch and noticed that the outside temperature was 96 degrees. I was skimming the pool and made sure to put on more sunscreen before jumping in.
I was so comfortable just floating on my raft. Floating around just relaxing felt so good! I planned to be in the water for about an hour when my 14 year old jumped in. We had a blast playing baseball with a beach ball and pool noodle, making a whirlpool, and playing games. If you have a teenager, you will understand what a treat it is to enjoy one on one time just having fun with that child who normally would rather be doing something else. This extra time together during the pandemic has been a gift, because there is much more family time. We had so much fun — and before I knew it, I had been in the water for nearly three hours.
I was careful to reapply my sunscreen everywhere — but I neglected my back. And boy did I learn my lesson. I now have a blistering sunburn on about 40% of my back and it is incredibly painful. In addition to being concerned about the potential for lasting damage and cellular changes done to my skin, I am finding it hard to get comfortable. This was preventable, though.
I cannot change yesterday’s mistake, but I can help alleviate the pain and I thought I would share how you can, too, should you finding yourself in need of some sunburn relief.
What is Seed Aging Beautifully Face Serum?
Is it a serum? Is it an oil?
Well, this is an oil-based face serum. Seed Aging Beautifully Face Serum combines 100% plant-based ingredients - like Argan and Rosehip Seed Oil - to help seal in moisture without feeling heavy or greasy.
Our facial oil serum can be used alone or over your moisturizer. It features a blend of oils to hydrate, balance, and address skin concerns such as loss of elasticity, dullness or skin dryness. Oils tend to be protective, boost skin hydration, and can help tackle a loss of skin firmness. Depending on the oils used -- and this is the case with our oil blend -- it may even help those with oily and acne prone skin types.
Wait. Don't you put this on under a moisturizer?
Great question! Read on...