Parabens, Preservation and Purpose: A guide to parabens

Parabens, Preservation and Purpose: A guide to parabens

If somebody had asked me a couple of years ago what parabens were, I wouldn’t not have been able to answer honestly. Fast forward a couple of years, and here I am writing an article about them for readers who are probably in the same shoes I was in previously. 

There is an old saying that ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to our own health and wellbeing, we have access to more information than we did before especially more education around potentially harmful substances which are impacting our health and the environment. 

If you are interested in learning what parabens are and want to start making changes towards reducing your paraben use and promoting more eco-friendly wellbeing, then this article us a great place to start. 

The purpose of this article is to give you a guide to parabens, what they are and what they are used for as well as raising awareness about paraben use in regard to our health. Hopefully by the end of the article you will have more of an idea about the benefits of using paraben free products and will be able to make an informed decision about ditching them out of your routine for good! 

So with that in mind, let’s break it all down together. 

What are parabens? 

Parabens are a family of related chemicals that are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic products (FDA, 2019). Parabens are used in a lot more products that people realise! Some cosmetics that may contain parabens include makeup, moisturizers, hair care products and shaving products, as well as in food and drugs. 

What are they used for? 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as preservatives, parabens give products a longer shelf-life and prevent harmful bacteria and mould from growing in the products, (Ross, 2019). 

Why should consumers be aware of them? 

Parabens are critically perceived and discussed in the public and in the media (Garner, Siol, & Eilks, 2014) Reports are available in newspapers about the estrogenic effects of parabens, which are then connected to speculations on fertility problems in men and the promotion of breast cancer in women (for example in The Guardian, 2009; DailyMail, 2012). 

Furthermore, in test tube studies, some parabens have been shown to have weak oestrogenic activity and some scientists have expressed concerns over whether repeated exposure could potentially affect hormone levels. This information is not designed to scare you, but it is important to do your research and be aware about parabens and the health implications which may be associated with them.

How to recognise parabens

Parabens are easily recognisable if you look at the product ingredients. Here are the names of common parabens that should look out for: 

  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Butylparaben 
  • Isobutylparaben
  • Alkyl para hydroxy benzoates

  • Why should I care? 

    A good question. Self-care is such a vital part of wellbeing and it something that in our busy day to day lives, we forget. We often buy for convenience rather than taking time to think about ourselves and our bodies, as well as the implications for the environment. So as the saying goes, knowledge is power. 

    Benefits of using paraben free products 

    Did you know that on average, women use between 8-10 different products on their faces, body and hair per day? That is potentially a lot of paraben use! Switching to paraben free products is a step in the right direction towards healthier skin, strong hair, and a happy environment. Skin is the largest organ of the body, which works like a shield for protecting you from microbes, pollutants, and other many extrinsic things (Re’equil, 2020). Investing in paraben free products means that you are investing into your own health and the planet. 

    Benefits of ditching parabens for the environment. 

    Parabens are not just impacting our own wellbeing, but that of the environment too. So, what is the environmental impact? The little-known fact is that parabens are making their way into the bodies of marine species. Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) has cited a research study claiming the build-up of parabens and their by-products in mammals from United States Coastal Waters (Re’equil, 2020).

    Identifying paraben free products

    It can be overwhelming knowing where to start and what to look for when you are considering switching to paraben free products. 

    All of our products here at KiteNest are completely paraben free, cruelty free and we use 100% natural ingredients. We are passionate about sustainable and ethical living which is why we don’t ever take shortcuts when it comes to putting the planet before profits. We are a family-based company in Lincoln and we make all our products in our custom built workshop.  

    It is important to look after and treat ourselves every now and again, so why not treat yourself or a loved one to our Best of Everything Skincare Bundle which includes a Body Butter, Lip Balm and Himalayan Salt Scrub – perfect for pampering! These all-natural products are the perfect treat as they use super ingredients such as Himalayan Salt, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Vitamin E to leave your skin feeling cleansed, hydrated, soft and rejuvenated. These products are wonderful for lifting your mood and we can feel you relaxing at just the thought of this bundle! 

    There is stigma that it costs to care, but at KiteNest we want to make sure that our products don’t break the bank so that they are accessible to everybody. Making that change to start being more economically and environmentally aware can take time, so take time do your research and make small changes which gradually lead to bigger changes. For example, you may wish to start out with purchasing a bamboo toothbrush rather than a plastic one or using a bamboo comb or hairbrush. See our Shop page where have a range of different accessories so that you can start small but make a big difference.

    If you are interested in finding out more about our products, please check out our shop online where you will find a variety of different products to try including skincare, body care, haircare, accessories and gift sets. There is also a FAQs page to help answer the most common questions that people have about our products, however, if you are interested in finding out more, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and one of the team will happily get back to you in order to answer any questions you may have. 

    We update our blog regularly so there will be plenty of interesting articles relating to environmental and sustainable living, mental and physical wellbeing, food waste and even some yummy vegetarian and vegan recipes especially for those who are mindful about animal welfare and eating on a budget. We are proud to be using our social media platforms to promote our small business and our passion for sustainable solutions. We hope that our enthusiasm here at KiteNest can help our customers with their problems an reduce eco anxiety. 

    Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope that you found it useful. Please watch this space for more blogs in the future and if you have any ideas about what you’d like to see on our website, get in touch!  Any feedback on our products is always greatly appreciated as we continue our mission to make our community more unsustainable and environmentally aware.