Friday, 3 June 2011

Debate Day: Paraben's

Welcome to a new series on my blog!  Debate day will feature a series of different controversial fashion and beauty topics which will hopefully get the blogging community talking.  A lot of people may already have made their assumptions on the fashion and beauty community, so it's time to show them that beauty and brains can be combined.  

*image taken from tumblr.  

Today's topic is parabens and after watching some youtube videos, I'm a little worried about the state of our beauty products.  If you don't already know, a paraben is basically a cheap preservative used in beauty products from body lotions to perfumes, mascaras to cleansers, to help give a longer lasting shelf life as well as protect it from growing fungus over time.  The main types used in products are:

- Butylparaben 
- Isobutylparaben 
- Ethylparaben 
- Methylparaben 
- Propylparaben

Now, you're probably thinking, what could be so bad about making our make up last a little longer and being a bit safer to use?

Parabens can mimic hormone estrogen (you know those buggers that make you moody, spotty and really emotional?) which plays a part in the development in breast cancer.  18 out of 20 tumours had been found with up to 5 types of parabens in.

I want to discuss brands that shockingly use parabens in their products, one which claims to be 'fresh' and 'handmade'.  The first brand is Lush.  I know, you're all probably wanting to hit me, but it's true.  I decided to go online and click on 3 products at random and see how many had parabens in.  

Gorgeous Moisturiser:
Any parabens? Yes. 
How many? 2 - Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Dirty Hair Cream:
Any parabens? Yes.
How many? 1 - Methylparaben

Big Blue Ballistics
Any parabens? No.

So 2/3 randomly chosen products had parabens in, slightly worrying for a company who claims to give you 'fresh' products.  

The next brand I want to talk about is Revlon.  Now, this is a rediculous case of paraben use. Almost all Revlon products contain parabens.  This wouldn't be such a big deal, if the company didn't hold a marathon every year to raise money for breast cancer.  So why would they put chemicals into their products which have been found in breast cancer cases?

After researching a lot into this subject, I started to worry about one particular product I used.  If Lush claims to be 'fresh' and natural, when really half the products aren't, would my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish disappoint me too?  I went and grabbed my cleanser with fingers and toes crossed and am pleasantly surprised to find it does not contain these chemicals.  This goes to show that companies may say they are all natural, but what it comes down to is the small print.  

So, what are your opinions on Paraben's?  Should they be in our beauty products, or should the beauty companies look into alternative preservative chemicals?

Join in the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #NonOptionalDebate
I look forward to your comments!


  1. you could have the same debate on animal testing, all depends where your priorities lie, Lush for example contains them but doesn't test on animals, other companies that don't contain them do. I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing, I mean so many things contribute to cancer now a days and if it was that much of a risk they wouldn't be present in many brands at all. There are so many chemicals in lots of products we use and half the time we probably don't bat an eyelid. Sunbeds are a contribution to cancer, people wont stop using them, same with make-up... if we want good products at a reasonable price we can't be too picky about how they are made/preserved. In an ideal world everything would be safe and risk free... but it's not :)

    good topic though x

  2. Very true, but I still think with the growing numbers that companies should look into different types of preservatives or get their morals right. Also, why do products need to have more than one type of preservative?

  3. This is so interesting! I'm kinda freaked out now though..
    thank you for the post! very helpful.


You have no idea how much each of your comments means. Keep 'um coming lovelies. N xox

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