In recent years, more and more consumers and retailers are turning to natural beauty products that are paraben free. Parabens, which are the most widely used preservatives in beauty and personal care products, have become a concern due to their possible link to cancer and other health issues.The most common parabens are methylparaben, ethylparaben, proplyparaben and butylparaben. Parabens are used in products to extend their shelf life and prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria in the products.

Parabens are absorbed through the skin and may adversely affect the function of the endocrine system (laymans terms…skin system). While the research on parabens remains inconclusive, parabens have been linked to breast cancer, early puberty and infertility because they mimic estrogen and therefore can interfere with the body’s normal hormones. Nonetheless, the FDA has officially stated that it “believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens.” Ahem! Thank you Mr. FDA. Oh yes, you are the same guys who say that Aspartime was ‘A-OK’.  Say bye bye to your credibility.

Parabens should not be applied to cracked or inflamed skin because they can increase irritation, especially in those suffering from various skin conditions.

While there may not be conclusive evidence that parabens can cause long-term health problems, it is best to avoid them whenever possible. Why take a risk if you don’t have to. Always check labels and ingredient lists before buying new products and look for brands that are specifically paraben free. You can also look for certain seals on labels that indicate that a product is paraben free.

Bottom line, read the lables. Shea carries product that are paraben free.