What are parabens?
Parabens are synthetic chemicals that are used as preservatives in a variety of products, including cosmetics. Because they are preservatives, parabens are used to give products a longer shelf-life + prevent things like bacteria + mould from growing within them.
They’re widely used by many mainstream cosmetics + hair care brands because they are cheap + mimic antimicrobial agents in plants.
If you want to know whether a beauty product like a shampoo contains parabens you can look out for ingredients such as propylparaben, benzylparaben, methyl- paraben, or butylparaben. Although sometimes they can be listed as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates.
Are parabens bad for us?
There’s been a lot of research into the effects of parabens on our health + whilst there are no definitive conclusions, there have been some indications of negative effects. For example, because parabens have estrogen-like properties, it’s been claimed that using products containing parabens can lead to hormone imbalances + some research has linked parabens to breast cancer, although the strength of this link isn’t 100%. Additionally, petroleum based chemicals have also been linked with carcinogenic properties.
Some people also express concern about the potential cumulative effects of using paraben-containing products on a frequent basis, such as in daily cleansers + shampoos. Like any ingredient, some people may be more sensitive to parabens than others - it’s all down to the individual.
The effect of parabens on our hair
We don’t believe you need to use products with parabens in + if you’re concerned about the effects they may have on your health it’s best to avoid them. One of the main reasons we would suggest avoiding parabens in your shampoo + conditioner is because of how it affects your hair. A paraben is a waxy substance that actually acts as a barrier + weighs the hair down. So if you’re using shampoo + conditioner that includes parabens, you may find, especially if you have fine or limp hair, that you’re not getting that bouncy, weightless feel you want.
Looking to go paraben-free?
If you want to go paraben-free then the good news is that you can quite easily! More + more beauty products are becoming paraben free + here at Crystal Earth, we’ve developed a range of paraben free shampoo + conditioners that are effective at cleaning + nourishing your hair + have a shelf-life as long as mainstream products - without the use of parabens!
Our natural + chemical free shampoo + conditioner is currently available in beautiful rose quartz, with amber + amethyst set to be released in the near future. We can’t wait for you to try our rose quartz shampoo + conditioner - we’d love to hear what you think!