There are many skin care products in the cosmetic market. Most of these products are synthesized using a variety of compounds, some natural and others artificial. Preservatives are added to extend the shelf life of cosmetics. One of them is a compound known as parabens. This compound has however, been a subject of controversy as it is said to have many side effects. Paraben free skin care products have since been designed.
Preservatives are important components of cosmetics as they prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi and molds. Disintegration may also occur as a result of air and light. For this reason, using preservatives is very crucial without which the product may become lethal. Besides, some of them are suspected in causing allergies and toxicity.
Some various scientific studies have linked paraben metabolites to breast cancer since deposits have been found in patients with breast cancer. The studies concluded that the metabolites are capable of penetration and accumulation in tissues. Other scientists have associated them with organ toxicity. On the other hand, other schools of thought claim that the toxicity only occurs when applied in large amounts.
Some parts of the body are absolutely sensitive to parabens. The mucous membranes of the eyes are extremely sensitive to such chemicals and therefore eye make up removers should not contain this compound. Eye creams with parabens are known to cause irritation when they get to the eyes. In addition, facial cleansers and moisturizers that lack the compound are recommended for sensitive skins.
Regardless of the fact that some organizations have disregarded the studies indicating parabens are harmful, industries have been using alternatives. Grapefruit seed also called Citrus Paradisi has often been used as alternatives. In addition, phenoxyethanol as well as benzyl alcohol are alternatives as well. Cinnamon, lemon, lavender and other essential oils are also employed as alternatives by various industries.
Organic acids have also been used for preservation. Their principle for function is through dissociation into an acid salt which has activity against microorganisms. With increasing pH levels, more of the acid is converted into acid salt slowly. Combining this salt with preservation agents such as diazolidinly urea makes an effective agent. Acids are however only used for acidic formulations and do not work for those higher in the pH scale.
It is true that the use of alternatives has not been in use for long therefore their safety record is not proven. When you are not sure about the preservative used, use oil based cosmetics whenever available. This is because only water based cosmetics have to have preservatives. They may present challenges in the use, however, as they have to be used in dark rooms and using a pump to prevent air and light. Whatever your choice is, always use paraben free.
Regardless, consumers need to look at the ingredients list of any product that they want to purchase. The information about the toxicity of various chemicals that you may encounter can be cross referenced in an online database. Remember, all natural and safe does not always mean that the product is safe. Always choose paraben free cosmetics.
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Author: Karina FrostThis author has published 246 articles so far.