What Are Parabens?

ParabensSimply put, a paraben is a preservative. It is used to inhibit bacterial growth, as well as, prolong the shelf life of products. The most common man-made versions are methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben. While parabens can be found in nature (they naturally occur in blueberries) the synthetic, laboratory-generated versions have created a great deal of concern due to their ability to mimic the hormone estrogen. Since these chemicals are not naturally occurring in our body, we have trouble breaking them down and eliminating them. They become stored in and can accumulate in our body. When our body stores something it does not know what to do with, it most often will store it in our fat cells. As a result, stored, synthetic parabens have been found in breast tumors. Even though there are no studies indicating parabens were the cause of the breast tumors, its presence is a valid cause for concern.

Parabens are used in a variety of personal care products including, but not limited to pharmaceuticals, processed foods, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, moisturizers and shampoos. The FDA has deemed the amount of synthetic paraben used in any of these products as being safe. But, on a daily basis we do not use just one product containing these substances we, most likely, use many. The accumulated effect of all these products has caused the alarm bells to sound. While we have yet to prove a direct link between these estrogen mimicking chemicals and cancer, we are all better off avoiding them whenever possible.

As you begin to closely review the ingredient list of your salon’s products, keep a close eye out for methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben. Or, make it easy on yourself and your clients and use and sell only products that are clearly labeled as being “paraben free”. All of Dreamline Beauty’s hair care collection is 100% paraben-free.