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Are Parabens Safe? FDA & Cosmetic Ingredient Review Say Yes

Photo: Avomeen

There’s a longstanding debate in the beauty world about the perils of parabens. Found in everything from toothpaste to moisturizers, these chemicals act as preservatives to prevent the growth of microbes and bacteria in products. But parabens in their isolated form also have estrogen-like qualities. First introduced in 1984, they came under attack when a 2004 study detected them in breast cancer tissue (though the study didn’t establish any causal connection). Some ingredient watchdogs continue to argue that parabens should be avoided at all costs, while others say it’s perfectly safe to use products containing small doses of parabens. So should you be worried? Probably not. Click through to learn why!

The FDA has long maintained that it’s fine to use the preservatives in cosmetic formulas. Most products contain paraben levels hovering between 0.01 to .3%, and parabens “have been shown to have much less estrogenic activity than the body’s naturally occurring estrogen.”  And now, WWD reports that the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, an industry organization responsible for evaluating the safety of various substances, recently convened to reassess the safety of parabens. Their conclusion? Based on the current research, there’s no reason to be concerned about using products with parabens. So before you clean out your makeup bag and bathroom cabinet, take a deep breath and relax.

—Mai

Even though we’re not ready to go all natural with our beauty products, some of our must-have products are paraben-free and organic including these from Juice Beauty.

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