Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ally Answers: What are parabens?

I see the words "paraben free" on most of your cosmetics and skin care products.  Exactly what is "paraben" and why do I care?  Madison K., Nashville TN

Ally:  Paraben is the most commonly used preservative in the world of cosmetics and personal care products as well as in the food and drug categories.  Paraben is an inexpensive mix of acid and alcohol of p-hydroxybenzoic acid that effectively extends the shelf life of a product by preventing bacteria growth.  You can find them everywhere in your daily life; in soap, face and body moisturizers, deodorant, hair styling products, and even shaving cream.

While the FDA still approves the use of Paraben (with an advisory note to use as small a quantity as possible), it does not mean that you have to use it.  First, be sure to look at the ingredient list of any beauty or personal care products that you purchase.  Parabens are usually easy to spot as it includes “Paraben” at the end of the ingredient name.  Many beauty product companies are now using the extracts and oils of select plants and flowers known to have anti-bacterial properties.  The one caution...since these are organic products, be sure to check the expiration date.

Just an FYI:  Beauty Care Choices just added Hynt Beauty to it's brands.  It's one of the top sellers in Europe because it's paraben-free and has exceptionally pure ingredients.  I've been trying them and I love how they feel and perform. 

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