You might have seen bottles of shampoo and conditioner labelled as sulphate- and paraben-free, but what does this actually mean when it comes to what we put on our hair?
Parabens are preservatives used in cosmetics to give them a longer shelf life. To get a bit science-y, parabens are esters (a compound formed from acid and alcohol) of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. The FDA says the most common are methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben.
Parabens are not water soluble and can penetrate the skin. As a result, repeated application of a product or multiple products containing parabens could mean almost continuous exposure. These endocrine-disrupting chemicals can be absorbed through skin, blood and the digestive system. Studies have shown that some parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells, and while estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer, parabens have been found present in breast tumors.
These preservatives affect your body in many different ways, usually in the form of skin problems. People with sensitive skin find that products containing paraben can cause dermatitis and allergic reactions. Most worryingly, however, a British study has linked Parabens to breast cancer.
There is still some debate whether it truly increases the risks, but why would you take the chance?
All "The Chemical Barbers" products are PARABEN-FREE!