What Are Parabens?
Parabens generally describe a group of chemicals that are used as preservatives in food, medical, personal care and beauty products. These synthetic preservatives have been used for years because they provide broad spectrum antimicrobial efficacy. They are also a very cost-effective way to preserve products. The most commonly used parabens are Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben and Butylparaben.
Why Are Parabens Used?
Preservatives are ingredients that prevent or retard microbial growth in products. The use of preservatives is required to protect the product from unintended contamination by the consumer during use. Occasionally multiple preservatives are used to increase efficacy based on the product category or usage, or even based on the type of formula (water-based).
Products, such as shampoos and conditioners, that live in the shower are particularly vulnerable to microbial contamination. Therefore, the option to have a preservative-free formula is not possible as these products may become contaminated and cause health issues. There are very few natural preservatives available that provide the same level of efficacy as synthetic preservatives. Like synthetic preservatives, natural preservatives do not always work in all bases.
Why Are Parabens Controversial?
A study was conducted in the 1990’s that suggested a link between parabens and breast cancer. Later the data from that study were found to be suspect, but parabens had already been popularized as an unsafe ingredient. As a result, both the EU government and the US Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) conducted multiple reviews of several safety studies on various types of parabens. In fact, both groups have conducted several analyses as more information becomes available. Those parabens, such as the Iso-parabens were banned by the EU. In certain cases, the permitted levels of combinations of parabens has been lowered in part to reduce any potential adverse effects while still maintaining efficacy. The reality is that governments have access to far more data then what is available to the public.
The EU is quite concerned about the vilification of parabens because some companies are using more dangerous preservatives such as formaldehyde-donors (Diazolidinyl Urea and Imidazolidinyl Urea) which can release formaldehyde over time. Of all the different types of synthetic preservatives, only phenoxyethanol and parabens have been tested multiple times and found to be both safe and effective. As a result, the EU government has proposed the banning of the claim paraben-free.
Why We Don’t Use Parabens?
We are committed to providing the safest, most effective hair care products. We recognize that many consumers are not comfortable with parabens in their products and we understand. Because of this, we have made the conscious decision to formulate our products without parabens.