Beauty, Life Style, Skin Care

OMG! Parabens

Anyone who knows anything about cosmetics or skin care will slightly cringe at the mention of Parabens. Lately there has been so much chatter about it from both sides, one that claims it to be safe and the others that claim it to be terribly dangerous. Many boutique brands claim themselves to be paraben- free, almost bragging about it along with buzz words like Organic & Ayurvedic, affirming themselves as healthy and clean. But is that true? What is one to believe?


For the longest time I was completely ignorant about Parabens  until one day,  Ms.Super Consumer questioned my choices of online shampoo purchase! I did some research and here is what I found out.

What are Parabens?

Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products. Without preservatives these everyday items  e.g. Shampoo, Creams, Mascara etc would become overgrown with bacteria, mold and other microbes; making them harmful for everyday use. On the ingredient list you can find various types listed eg: propylparaben, ethylparaben,  methylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben! Phew mouthful !

That’s good! So what is the problem?

More than a decade ago, a published study claimed links between parabens and breast cancer, due to its estrogen mimicking properties. This got everyone scared…. very scared! Due to this in many countries there is a regulation on the paraben limit in products. India is not one of them!

Then shouldn’t we boycott Parabens?

There were further studies conducted that contradicted the initial study!

(Obviously, otherwise the popular FMCG brands would loose money! Sorry, that’s just the conspiracy theory enthusiast in me talking!)

Blurred Lines!

There have also been studies claiming naturally occurring substances & commonly consumed medicines also have similar estrogenic effect. So why single out the poor Parabens! (said nobody ever)

Closing thoughts:

Not everything “natural” is good and not everything “chemical” is dangerous! There is a definite cause of concern here, but it’s not the time to panic (yet!).

To overcome this dilemma,  I prefer using paraben free body lotions as they cover a large part of our skin. I have also come to understand that using oil based instead of water based products can be helpful as water needs preservation.

Do tell me what are your thoughts about Parabens and how you overcome this issue in the comments section.

If Beauty Ingredients interest you read more of my “OMG! Ingredient to Know” series here:



30 thoughts on “OMG! Parabens

  1. I would first of all like to say a huge thank you! I was completely unaware of this fact before. Though I have been using natural Ayurvedic products, for example Amla, shikakai for hair wash but not lotions and other beauty products. Well I don’t know what precautions can I take for products like mascara and eyeliner but now definitely I would try for the Ayurvedic one’s.

  2. Hi. Again a good blog . well I can’t say much on parabens in cosmetic.. But we have loads of products using methylparaben in medical field as a preservative .
    Its flooded with it.
    As long as possible , it should be avoided , not only cancer , it is deemed toxic for the body, if higher doses reaches the system .

    All said and done ,
    The skin forms a good barrier , and is the best in our body. So it will filter parabens as much as possible .
    So a infrequent use shouldn’t be a issue !
    But a daily high dose can be worrisome !

    There you go !
    A whole new twist to ur beauty blog 😉

    • Natalie, it is also present in other products like shampoo, face wash, lotions, creams and any other water based content that needs to be preserved! One needs to be careful in the selection of what they expose their self to!


      PS: I just edited this comment with the punctuation corrections you pointed out!
      I seem to have gotten into a habit of the unnecessarily hitting the space bar!

  3. I have had a very interesting journey in an effort to stay as healthy as possible, off prescription drugs (come from a family with various health issues) and have learned so much about the body’s natural ability to heal itself. The problem is all of the chemical additives, preservatives and estrogen mimickers that disrupt our body’s normal defense system. So over time I’ve had all of my amalgam (mercury) fillings removed and replaced with the white looking type (still yet another problem but not as bad as mercury) and have taken to making my own toothpaste! I learned so much about oral healthcare on youtube! There are so many healthcare/holistic practitioners offering free and wonderful suggestions! Commercial toothpastes contain so many additives & chemicals, that the body immediately absorbs (some go to the brain!) and glycerine which prevents remineralization of teeth (teeth can heal, yes they can!). So while visiting my holistic/biological dentist I learned much about Parabens and the danger they pose to the human body (and they are in so many products including hand creams, lotions, etc!) As a customer I highly recommend checking out for amazing products and information on immune health and much more more. I hope I didn’t bore anyone! Good health!

    • Wow, looks like you have a lot of experience on this subject ! I do agree with you about the harmful effects about products !
      In India there was time when everyone relied on natural products and treated health problems with Ayurveda… but after the economy and markets opening up to western players there has been gradual shift from natural to chemical! The giants advertise so much and have people convinced and nobody can beat the low cost these mass manufacturers can offer! One needs to do their due diligence before buying anything off the shelf!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and taking the time out to read my post!
      Cheers 🙂

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