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Why Should You go Natural?

Aug 28, 2008
To appreciate why natural skincare products are so beneficial, it helps to highlight why it's better to steer clear of other chemical products on the skincare market. A big reason to do so is the presence of parabens in a lot of cosmetics. These are chemicals used as preservatives primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties, and there are suggestions that these can be linked with breast cancer. Parabens are commonly used in cosmetics such as shampoos, moisturizers, shaving gels, cleansing gels, spray tan and toothpaste.

Dr Philippa Darbre and colleagues at the University of Reading carried out tests on samples of 20 different human breast tumours their findings recorded traces of parabens in every sample, suggesting the chemicals had seeped into the tissue after being applied to the skin. Results have shown that parabens have weak estrogenic activity. Some estrogens are known to drive the growth of tumors; the study has raised some concern about the use of butylparaben, and to a lesser extent other parabens as well.

"This is the first study to show their (parabens) accumulation in human tissues ... It demonstrates that if people are exposed to these chemicals, then the chemicals will accumulate in their bodies. Their detection in human breast tumours is of concern since parabens have been shown to be able to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen. Estrogen can drive the growth of human breast tumours. It would therefore seem especially prudent to consider whether parabens should continue to be used in such a wide range of cosmetics applied to the breast area including deodorants." Dr Philippa Darbre.

Chris Flower, director general of the UK's Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association, welcomed the study, "It is welcome additional information and we will want to examine the findings in detail".

So it is understandable people have become concerned about the use of parabens in their cosmetics, even if their link with estrogen and breast cancer remains uncertain many wish to play it safe and gain all the other benefits of completely natural products. Investigations into the subject have not proved conclusive; whilst they do not confirm a direct link between parabens and cancer, there is not definite evidence to state they are harmless.

The European Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) has reviewed the safety of parabens twice since Jan 2005. Both reviews stated that the available data on parabens does not enable a decisive response to the question of whether propyl, butyl and isobutyl paraben can be safely used in cosmetic products at individual concentrations up to 0.4%, (the allowed limit in the EU).

Whilst the paraben situation is not one to strike terror into the hearts of avid anti-perspirant users just yet, we should appreciate what nature has to offer us, why turn to dubious chemicals for a beauty fix when there are alternative products readily available? Scin boutique stocks several ranges which are completely paraben-free; 'Apivita' express face masks for skin, body and hair, 'Laidbare' natural beauty range, 'Purepotions', 'Taer', 'Jo Woods Organic', 'Pai' handmade natural British skincare and most of the 'Earth mama, angel baby' pregnancy and baby products, can all be used without worry!
About the Author
Hannah Walker is a writer for scinboutique
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