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What Are Parabens and Why Are They Bad for You?

Posted by Barbara Maynard on 18th Feb 2020

What Are Parabens and Why Are They Bad for You?

When you put makeup on, you usually aren’t thinking about how the ingredients in the makeup can affect your body.

It’s easy to go the convenient route-- if everyone else is doing it, it must be safe, right? Often, we find ourselves buying whatever is readily available on supermarket shelves without thinking too deeply about why those products are stocked in such large numbers.

It makes sense; makeup belongs on your skin, not in your skin. Right? How could it ever affect your health?

Unfortunately for us, there are synthetic chemicals in these products that are being absorbed by our skin when we wear them. These chemicals are called parabens.

What are parabens?

Parabens are preservatives.

These synthetic chemicals are widely used in beauty products to preserve them; in other words, it keeps bacteria and mold from growing on them and ruining the product.

This is a good thing for the cosmetics companies, but not so much for the consumer.

Companies can extend the shelf life of their product because of parabens. This makes the product cheaper to produce and keeps it on the shelf longer.

While the company is saving money, we are left with chemicals that intrude on the natural rhythm of our body.

Why parabens are bad for you

Think of your body as a finely tuned instrument. If your strings aren’t tuned to just the right pitch, your notes are going to come out all wrong.

The hormones produced by your body are the strings in this scenario. What makes parabens particularly bad for us is that they pass through the skin barrier and enter our bloodstream, where they imitate the hormone estrogen.

There’s nothing bad about estrogen; it’s a natural hormone.  But you know what they say about “too much of a good thing”!

When the body has an excess of estrogen, it’s more likely to produce tumors and experience unnatural cell division. This is linked to different cancers and reproductive issues, among a host of other health issues that can sneak up on us when we use these products long term.

The solution

Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions out there these days to keep from using chemical-ridden products.

The first step is becoming more aware of the products you’re selecting.

For instance, do a little research before you buy! Spend some time looking up natural cosmetics and you’ll see that the ingredients in these products are often completely natural (as in not made in a lab) or organic, which means they won’t carry harmful chemicals.

Natural products are also less likely to cause skin irritation or acne.

You may have to look a little harder at the ingredients list from now on, but natural makeup is just as accessible and easy to find as the synthetic stuff, and much better for your body.

Now all you have to do is make the change!

If you’re ready to clean up your makeup routine a great place to start are our makeup kits. Just one kit has everything you need to get started and costs a fraction of brands like Bare Minerals, Tarte, or Youngblood. Southern Magnolia Minerals is artisan-made and made with love!