Michelle Scott-Lynch, founder of paraben-free haircare brand Bouclème says, ‘Parabens are a type of preservative, first introduced in the 1950s. They’re used to prolong shelf life in many health and beauty products by preventing the growth of mould and bacteria within them.’
Why are they harmful for you?
In 2004, a British study found traces of five parabens in the breast tissue of 19 out of 20 women studied. The study didn’t prove that parabens can cause cancer but identified that the parabens were able to penetrate the skin and remain within tissue.
Parabens are believed to disrupt hormone function by mimicking estrogen. Too much estrogen can trigger an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumours, which is why paraben use has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.
Why are they harmful for the environment?
A scientific study reported that parabens have been found for the first time in the bodies of marine mammals. Researchers believe that it is likely these parabens come from products we use that are washed into the sewage system and released into the environment.