Q:What are parabens?

A: Parabens, a class of chemical compound of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, are inexpensive preservatives widely used in personal care products, skin care products and cosmetics. Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben and lsobutylparaben are the most commonly used parabens.

Q:Why are parabens added to some personal care products?

A: From manufacturer to consumer, products risk exposure to bacterial and fungal infection. Parabens are used as preservatives to protect products from microbial growth, thus extending their shelf-life. Parabens are found to be less toxic than other preservatives. Parabens are added to a number of personal care products, even baby products, to control cost and meet production needs.

Q: Does long-term use of paraben-containing personal care products cause problems?

A: Studies have shown that long-term use of paraben-containing personal care products will trigger contact dermatitis, although parabens are not found to be acutely toxic. Cumulative exposure to preservative residues contributes to adverse effects on stratum corneum and skin cells, thus the skin is more likely to suffer allergies with long-term use. People who are allergic to this type of preservative should check product labels and avoid paraben-containing products.

Adverse effects of preservatives on skin

Irritates skin and accelerates hyperpigmentation

Irritates skin and accelerates hyperpigmentation

Hinders the functioning of active ingredients

Take hydrating products for instance, adding preservatives will weaken the effect of moisture-capturing ingredients and does harm to skin.

  • Reduces cell generation
  • Cells degenerate and flatten.
  • Increase of progerin.

Affects the skin's DNA

Cells absorb preservatives and result in DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation.

Makes skin hypersensitive

Cumulative exposure to preservatives contributes to keratinocyte damage and skin thinning. It also weakens the skin’s defensive and repair capabilities.

Preservatives increase cumulative damages

Experiments have shown that 4 days of using preservative-containing personal care products results in 4 times the cumulative concentration of preservatives. The only solution is to quit using.

Reference: Information on parabens

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