Are parabens bad news?

The first ingredient green beauty companies ban from their ingredient list is usually parabens. Take a look and you’ll notice “paraben free” on all kinds of packaging, even our own! But why is there so much concern about parabens? Have they been proven to cause cancer? Here’s what you need to know:

What are parabens?

Parabens are among the most commonly used preservatives in cosmetic products. Methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben are what you'll see most often – over 85% of cosmetics have them. Typically, more than one is used in a product.

Are they dangerous?

The short answer is, the jury’s still out. A study published in 2004 (Darbre, in the Journal of Applied Toxicology) detected parabens in breast tumors. Parabens have weak estrogen-like properties and it’s been shown that estrogen can have an influence on breast cancer. However, the study did not show that parabens cause cancer, or that they are harmful in any way, and the study did not look for paraben levels in normal tissue.

If they aren't 100% sure, why are companies still using parabens?

They’re inexpensive and effective.

The lack of a simple, definitive answer is a little frustrating, right? When it comes to questions about our health (especially where the dreaded C-word is concerned) we want to know for sure. There are all kinds of research, opinions and conclusions out there. Some say parabens are completely safe. Others have come to some pretty frightening conclusions! But most dermatologists recommend keeping an eye on your exposure to parabens, and choosing paraben-free when you're choosing products that will come in contact with your skin (your largest organ!).

The good news is there are so many green beauty companies that offer paraben free options, so you can easily make the choice that's right for you. And BOX Naturals products will always be 100% free of all parabens.