Are There Dangerous Parabens In Your Skin Creams? Separating Fact From Fiction

Author:  |  Category: Dentist

By Dr. Valerie Rosenbaum

The debate over the dangers of parabens in skincare products and other health and beauty aids is a heated one. If you ask one side, ‘Are parabens bad?’ Their answer will be no. The other side will say, ‘Yes’. Here’s a look at both sides of the story.

Safe Preservatives or Not?

The pro-paraben side of the debate point out the long history of safe use, the effectiveness as preservatives and the low cost. The opposing view is that long term history of safe use is questionable.

One of the dangers of parabens has always been allergic reaction. They and other artificial preservatives are the most common cause of allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, then, yes is the answer to are parabens bad.


Organizations that adhere to the ‘precautionary principle’ object to the everyday use of these preservatives and to the variety of different products, including food, that contain them. The precautionary principle puts the burden of proof on the pro-paraben side. They need to prove that the chemicals will NOT cause harm. The pro-paraben group believes that they should be proven undoubtedly harmful, before they will stop using them in their products.

Are parabens bad preservatives? There is no doubt that a paraben can prolong the shelf-life of a product, but other safer options exist, especially when it comes to caring for the skin. Natural vitamin E is a safe and effective preservative that is also an antioxidant and beneficial for the skin’s health.

That leaves only cost. It is true that a synthetic paraben is less expensive than naturally occurring vitamin E, but if cosmetic companies would cut into their advertising budget, just a little, they could avoid passing the expense on to their customers.

What Are the Believed Dangers of Parabens?

It depends on which one you are talking about. They are a group of synthetic chemicals that are combined with specific types of alcohol. The type of alcohol is immediately precedes the word ‘paraben’ on an ingredients label. When it comes to methyl-parabens, they are known to cause itching, burning, scaling, hives and blistering of the skin.

Are parabens bad for your health? They imitate estrogen activity. Women who have endometriosis are advised to avoid products that contain them. People in general are likely to be exposed to too many different estrogen imitators and they may increase our risk of cancer.

Sodium methyl-paraben has been banned by the EU because of the dangers of parabens combined with sodium include de-pigmentation of the skin. If yes is the answer to are parabens bad, what can you do.

There are safe and effective alternatives like natural vitamin E and grape seed extract. When those cannot be found, you simply have to avoid them whenever possible. We are exposed to a lot of carcinogens on a daily basis. That is probably one of the dangers of parabens. When added to all of the other carcinogens in our environment, it’s a miracle that everyone doesn’t develop it.

About the Author: Dr. Valerie Rosenbaum is a dermatologist who specializes in natural skin care products using only clinically proven ingredients like Cynergy TK. At her website she recommends the best paraben free skin care products. For more information visit her website


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