Knowing your skincare ingredients (Part II)



What is it?

Parabens are widely used preservatives in cosmetics, even in toothpastes. Most commonly used parabens include methylparaben, propylparaben, ehtylparaben and butylparaben.

Why is it used?

Cosmetics products which contain water components (microbes need water to grow and reproduce) need a preservative to prevent harmful microbial growth and thus prolong the shelf life of products. As a preservative in cosmetics, parabens are used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi (mold). 

Why is it used widely used in cosmetics?

  • A broad-spectrum preservative, meaning it is both bactericidal and fungicidal
  • EA effective preservative
  • Relatively cheap

Why it is being avoided in Cleanout Beauty’s products?

Parabens are much concerned for its possible linkage to breast cancer. “Safety questions about the use of parabens in cosmetics center around parabens' potential to act like estrogen, a hormone that can be associated with the development of breast cancer (Food and Drug Administration, 2020).” Studies have shown that intact parabens are found being able to penetrate the skin and accumulate in breast tissues (Moss and Scheer, 2014). Although “Studies have shown, however, that parabens have significantly less estrogenic activity than the body's naturally occurring estrogen (Food and Drug Administration, 2020)” and there might not be inevitable evidence showing a causal relationship between parabens and breast cancer (Moss and Scheer, 2014). But we can’t help asking: Are there safer alternatives that can serve the same purpose as parabens? And the answer would be: Yes. I will talk more about other alternative preservatives in my coming blog posts. So if there are safer alternatives, then why risk? 



Food and Drug Administration. (2020). Cosmetics Safety Q&A: Parabens.

Moss, D. and R, Scheer. (2014, October 6). Should People Be Concerned about Parabens in Beauty Products?

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