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Parabens: The Dirty Little Secret

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Image by Marcin Wichary via Flickr

What Personal Care Companies Don’t Want You Know About Parabens

Recently I noticed that I was running out of my favorite hair care product: Silk Therapy. Ever since I was introduced to it by a hairdresser about 5 years ago, I’ve used it religiously because my hair frizzes uncontrollably. I tried a bunch of other stuff back then, but I liked this much better. The price of Silk Therapy has skyrocketed since it’s popularity has increased, so I started on my search for a new product…before I ran out of my beloved Silk Therapy.

Since I like the Garnier shampoo and conditioner, I decided to try the hair serum by the same company. I absolutely LOVED it. Being as frugal as I am though, I decided to use the rest of the Silk Therapy, and it would take me 3 or 4 days tops to use it all. BUT, I was reading the back of the label to compare the ingredients with the Garnier product and what did I find? PARABENS!!! In plain sight no less, they didn’t even try to hide it! I can’t believe that for the last 5 years, I’ve been slathering this toxic stuff on my hands and scrunching it into my hair!

So what’s so bad about Parabens you might ask? First, it is highly suspected of causing breast cancer. No major studies have found a direct link though. Why? Because no one wants to admit that this very inexpensive ingredient that has been used in every product that you can imagine, might be causing the rise in breast cancer that we are experiencing as a society. It’s also thought to mess with human growth hormone, meaning that it can alter growth and normal function in babies and adults. If you’re pregnant, do you want to use a product suspected of causing a problem in your baby? I didn’t think so.

Parabens can be found in everything from toothpaste, to shampoo, skincare, cosmetics, and everything in between. How much would it cost for the companies that use this chemical to replace it with a botanical ingredient? Probably billions. Yeah I said it, billions. That’s why there have been companies in the personal care industry that have done their own studies with results that it’s absolutely safe. I’m not implying that they fudged results, that would be illegal wouldn’t it? BUT, I am saying that you can make the statistics look any way you want with the right group of study participants. I’m just sayin…

Luckily, there are good, honest companies out there that care about our safety. Companies like Garnier, BeautiControl and Burt’s Bees are evolving and using safer alternatives to Parabens to make sure we’re around to buy their products years to come.

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