Transitioning ain't easy, and neither is finding the right shampoo for my soon to be kinky hair. I often read about the importance of avoiding products that contain paraben, but what the heck is that exactly?
I did some research and learned that paraben is a chemical that can be found in many skin care products and cosmetics, including the shampoos we use. It's less expensive to make, and is designed to stop or slow down the growth of bacteria. Studies
have claimed that this preservative can act as estrogen which can be linked to cancer. Scientists have found concentrations of the chemical in various breast tumors. That information alone is enough to make me paranoid. But as long as I'm not ingesting it, I should be ok. Right? Not exactly. When applied to your skin, it can actually enter your bloodstream. The body can take in 10 times the amount than if taken orally. Peeps with sensitive skin (like me) may even have an allergic reaction.
Further testing in 2002
revealed that parabens reduce sperm counts in rats. While I appreciate being made aware of the possible dangers of parabens, I wonder if this is all a marketing ploy to try and scare us. Is this a way to get consumers to spend more money on products that don't include the chemical? Despite my reluctance to feed into all this mumbo jumbo, I am concerned about the kind of shampoo and other products I use on Princess. My research also led me to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website
which breaks it down even further.
In response to a study published in 2004, the FDA
questions the toxicity of parabens, and its possible link to cancer. It claims that the test was incomplete because it didn't look at possible paraben levels of normal tissue in relation to cancerous ones . The agency concluded that the amount of the chemical found in products typically range from .01 to .3% which is considered safe.
Just the mere fact that there're is a question regarding the health hazards of parabens is enough for me to want to avoid it all together. But, do I rummage through my medicine cabinet and toss all items containing paraben? Besides, it cost an arm and a leg to buy products without the ingredient. When I think back to my relatives who have survived breast cancer, it makes me think. These women never smoked. They avoided the sun, and maintained a pretty healthy lifestyle. As a feature reporter, I remember interviewing cancer patients who had no family link to the disease. So, all this talk of everyday products possibly containing parabens makes me want to re-evaluate future purchases.
The next time I'm out shopping for shampoo I'll be scrutinizing the label. I may also have to bite the bullet and shell out some extra dough for healthier products for my family. Luckily for me- the money that I save from relaxers can be redirected to shampoos without parabens. Plus, my hubby has become a coupon expert. Hopefully we'll be able to save as much as possible on paraben free products through couponing.
If you're considering going paraben free, here's a site
I found helpful. It lists products and do and don't contain paraben as an ingredient.
Do you try and avoid products containing parabens?
Weather Anchor Mama