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Increasing Awareness: Parabens

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Parabens are compounds used as preservatives in many cosmetics and beauty products. Many of these compounds are mild and safe to use on an everyday basis. However, there is one that I look-out for when purchasing cosmetics.

Methylparaben is an anti-fungal and preservative that may be found in many products including food, drugs, cosmetics and skin cream. It is used to kill unwanted bacteria, fungi and microbes that might grow in products and may be potentially harmful.

The October 3, 2006, issue of Toxicology published a study that shows when skin treated with creams that contain methylparaben were exposed to the sun’s UVB rays, the skin cells died and there was considerable oxidative stress on the skin’s tissue.

There is reason to be mindful of these chemicals but not to have an all-consuming concern. Always check the ingredients list before purchasing a product and become knowledgeable of what the ingredients are. Be observant of the products applied to skin that will be exposed to the sun. There are many products on the market that are paraben-free and I imagine more will be made available.

To see if some of your favorite products contain methylparaben – go here:
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