Parabens found in skin and hair care products


Parabens are common preservatives often found in cosmetic products. Recent research links parabens to breast cancer and endocrine disruption. They go by many names on product labels including: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben and butylparaben.


In skin care products


Many skin care products on store shelves contain parabens. Parabens are used to extend the shelf life of the product and allow it to stay on the shelves longer.


Common everyday products containing parabens are daily moisturizers, anti-aging skin creams, body lotions, mascaras, foundations, blushes, eye shadows, bath products and conditioners.


In hair care products


Conditioners also usually contain parabens to ensure they do not spoil quickly. Hair conditioners are used to protect the hair from heat, wind and UV rays.

Some hair conditioner products are designed to be rinsed out while others are left in during the day.


Parabens in foundation makeup


Many cosmetic products contain parabens as well. Foundation often has parabens listed on the ingredients. People use foundation to cover blemishes and make the face appear smooth and even toned. Foundation can come in liquid, powder form or a compact powder container. Parabens are put into the foundation to ensure it lasts a long time while on store shelves.


Mineral wear foundation is now on the market that is paraben free. Not all mineral wear makeup is made the same way and not all is paraben free.


Fragrances contain parabens


Many consumers are not aware that parabens can exist in fragrances as well. Manufacturers have to indicate when parabens are in their products but not if they are in a batch of ingredients used for fragrance. Fragrance is considered a trade secret and the ingredients of fragrances do not need to be listed separately. To be compliant, manufacturers only need to indicate the word “fragrance” on the product label and consumers can only guess if parabens are present in the product.


Paraben links to cancer and endocrine disruption


Parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors and are now being linked to cancer. They have also been noted as causing disruption in hormones and have the ability to mimic estrogen. More research is underway to determine the health risks of parabens.