Meet the Toxic Crew: What are Parabens?
Parabens are probably the most known form of toxic ingredients out there in the marketplace. There's a ton of products that claim to be "paraben-free" and this is a good thing! In short, parabens are ingredients put into products to extend their shelf life - a form of preservatives. You can find parabens in your products by looking for the following ingredients: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben.
Parabens are banned in the European Union but the United States hasn't followed suit. They are known to disrupt hormone function and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive issues. Parabens are not water soluble and can penetrate the skin. As a result, repeated application of a product or multiple products containing parabens could mean almost continuous exposure.*
When scanning products, parabens are usually found in products with a high water volume such as shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.
*Prusakiewicz JJ., et al., Parabens inhibit human skin estrogen sulfotransferase activity: Possible link to paraben estrogenic effects. Toxicology, vol. 232, pp 248-56, 2007.