Parabens have become a buzz word these days as something to watch out for when looking at the ingredients in your skin care products. Many warn of the dangers and there are even reports of linking them to cancer. There is a lot of conflicting information about parabens, however. While some experts in the skin care industry (whether they be professionals or bloggers) have taken a stance against all parabens, other organizations have tested them and come up with inconclusive results. The general rule is that they can be safe, but only when find in low concentrations. This article will go into detail on methylparaben, its use in skin care products, and its overall safety for the consumer.
As evident by the name, this belongs to the paraben group of ingredients. Most often this chemical is mixed together in serums with propylparaben and butylparaben, while sometimes it is used alone. Parabens are used to inhibit the growth of fungus and bacteria in the skin. When allowed to grow, these issues degrade the health of the skin from within, leading to poor skin with unsightly blemishes such as acne, redness, irritation and other skin issues. When parabens are used in a product, they maintain the integrity of the product’s efficacy for a longer period of time, acting as a preservative.
Usage of Methylparaben
You will find methylparaben in many of the products that you have in your home such as shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers, eye products such as mascara and eye shadow, sunscreen, eye serums and many other products. As many eye serums only require a small dab of the product which can be spread over the skin, it is important that the product not expire over time and parabens help preserve it.
The biggest concern you will hear about methylparaben (or parabens in general), which I mentioned earlier, is reported links to potential cancer. While there have been studies that have correlated paraben use with breast cancer, these studies have been found to be inconclusive and parabens are still widely used in every day health and beauty products.
Other side effects that are more evidently seen are found in the endocrine system. This is an integral part of human health, as it has to do with the regulation of hormones which play an important part of the body’s overall functions such as metabolism.
It is recommended that parabens be avoided by women who are nursing or pregnant as it is thought mimic the function of estrogen in the body. Women who are in this state already have heightened hormonal activity and the introduction of parabens can cause an even greater imbalance.
There are some concerns about long term exposure to parabens, as well as being exposed to products that have a high concentration of these chemicals. Be sure to consult your dermatologist before using any product that may contain methylparaben or any other paraben. Your medical history should be taken into consideration to help you determine the risks before usage.