Coffee Chat: The thing about parabens…

Parabens are one of those ingredient badies that have received a lot of negative press as some believe, in simple terms, that they can mimic hormones, messing with biological processes and lead to cancer etc.

The scientific proof for this is still lacking and the vast majority of studies show that parabens are safe in the quantities found in cosmetics. Despite this, many people choose to avoid cosmetics which contain parabens and some countries have already started banning them from childrens’ products.

I have been asked many times before whether I avoid parabens or not and although as a scientist I have to say we have no proof, I still choose to avoid them for one reason only. Not because I believe that they will harm us but because these days we are spoilt for choice of cosmetics. If I find a cosmetic that I love and it contains parabens ofcourse I will use it but with so many other good products out there it’s also easy to find an alternative if you prefer peace of mind, regardless of whether they are harmful or not.

If it is a choice then that’s fine but for many it is a fear. A fear that not only ignores the scientific evidence but also the fact that parabens can be found in a lot of other non-cosmetic products too, like food.

I’ve always found it interesting how some people avoid paraben containing cosmetics at all costs but then lead unhealthy lifestyles, eat bad foood, don’t exercise and even consume other products that contain parabens. I hope this post brings you some mindfulness. Here’s an example of how you are probably consuming parabens without even knowing.

I’ve been having an incredinly annoying dry cough recently and so I got some Lemsip Cough medicine. As a chemist I have a habit of always reading the ingredient list of everything and I’ve immediately noticed that this syrup contains ethyl, methyl and propyl parabens. The full class! Obviously I kept consuming the syrup as it was helping my cough but I wanted to bring it up to show you that you’ve been consuming parabens all your life and you don’t need to be paralysed with fear. Perhaps one day we will settle this subject once and for all with more evidence for or against.

For now, if you do wish to avoid them, boycotting certain cosmetics is silly, you need to be more vigilant with everything you consume.

Hope this gives you some food for thought.

Lots of love,

Bonds of Beauty


I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences unless cited with a relevant reference.

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