If you feel like I do, then you know exactly what they are and why they're not safe. If you don't, let me school you for a min:
In terms of organic chemistry, parabens are esters (remember that =O & -OH group fellow science aficionados!) of para-hydroxybenzoic acid (thanks Wikipedia!). They are used in tons of cosmetics as a preservative to prevent molding. Recent studies show that parabens, when put on on the skin, are absorbed directly into the bloodstrem. The problem is: parabens mimic the hormone oestrogen in the endocrine system. What this really means is its disruptive because it mimics the nature of hormones that normally function in the body. A recent study on breast cancer patients showed that there were traces of parabens in cancer tumors. Since most deodorants contain parabens, many of these tumors were found in the uppermost regions of the breast near the underarm. Parabens when put on other parts of the body, were said to possibly be able to travel through the bloodstream and influence the tumor, maybe even driving its growth. There is still a lot of research to be done, but with my family history of breast cancer, I'd like to take as little risks in that department as possible.
So back to the point.
I found out recently that one of my favorite lotions contained methylparabens (Check your ingredients; it's listed as methylparaben, ethylparaben, or propylparaben). Let me just say I was soooooooo very upset. Well, I tried using the product one more time after I found out, and five minutes later, commenced in wildly scrubbing my feet to remove what was left of the product. I just couldn't do it. So today I went to my local drug store to find an alternative.
I've already been in love with St. I've's for ages but I'm even more in love now that I found out all their products are formulated without parabens (well most of them, still check the label). I was convinced they were my solution, but I wasn't completely opposed to finding organic products.
Well, when I first walked in the lotion section, I passed the organic section. Instead of checking them first, I wanted to look at the more cost-effective options and see what they were hitting for. St. Ive's Oatmeal & Shea Butter lotion was definitely paraben-free. I checked a couple other brands and many, to my dismay, did contain parabens. I picked up my St. Ive's and Nivea hand cream (which contains mineral oil-which is a whole 'nother story, but for now, I'll take it) and proceeded to the check out counter. I almost passed the "100% organic" section again until I saw a glorious product- organic mango body butter. Body and butter are my favorite key words! I tried a little on my hand and was mesmerized! For 6 oz though, it was $6. Nothing crazy, but not nearly as cost-effective as St. Ive's. I even checked another brand that had a similar 6 oz product for $13! I would of considered it, but it contained PARABENS! I was so mad because there is nothing organic about that!
Well this was loaded but all-in-all I just wanted to express how difficult it is to find good-for-you products. I love my body and wish to cherish it, but I'm a diva-on-a-budget and will have to play it cool for now.