Many Cosmeceuticals companies (including Bellanina) have been making the transition to paraben free formulas in their product lines and proudly announce “paraben-free” on their labels. To someone with a background in cosmetics and chemistry this statement may have a tremendous influence on their purchase but how does the elimination of paraben’s affect the average consumer? Understanding what something is and its potential negative effects on your health and your body is the first step towards making an informed decision as a consumer. To understand why paraben’s were used in most cosmetics in the first place, it is important to understand what they are.

What is a paraben?
A paraben is a type of preservative that has been used in many products such as make up, lotions, hair care products and pharmaceuticals for years. The most common parabens used in the cosmetics industry are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben The paraben is made up esters of the para-hydroxybenzoic acid and these can be found in nature or more commonly produced synthetically. Parabens are added to reduce the chance of microbial growth which will protect both the consumer and the product.

How Does a Paraben Impact You?

Parabens are considered to be well tolerated by the human body. Although parabens exist in several food products and can enter the body via ingestion, the major concern in most studies is absorption through the skin. Since many skin care products use parabens in some form, the increased amount the average person is exposed to on a daily basis has been called into question. It is the responsibility of the government and individual companies to frequently re-evaluate the chemicals used in products and determine any potential risks to a person from exposure.

Many studies have been conducted to evaluate the safety of parabens in the Cosmeceuticals industry. It has been found that, in small quantities (up to 25%), parabens can be used in cosmetics and other skin care products with no ill effects to the human body. Most products available today use between 01 to .3%. If any type of paraben is used in manufacturing process, that product must include the type used on the ingredients label for consumers to check. Many products produced without parabens will be labeled as “Paraben-Free”.

You may be wondering why many companies are changing their formulas to remove the need for parabens if they are so harmless. This is a good question and is the result of recent questions regarding a link between the use of parabens and breast cancer. In 2004 a study was presented that noted higher levels of parabens in breast cancer tumors. This was thought to be the result of the ester-bearing form of some parabens. Despite the results of this study however, the American Cancer Association has not found any definitive link between the development of breast cancer and the use of parabens.

In an effort to recognize our consumers concerns as well as protect the integrity of our skin care products, we are updating product ingredients when capable to paraben-free formulations. Though not every Bellanina product is paraben-free, we do have a wide range of products with this option.