Parabens have been widely used in cosmetics and skincare since the 1950s as a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus in beauty products. Parabens are inexpensive and effective, but studies conducted in the 1990s unveiled a link to breast cancer and endocrine problems. With the discovery of possible internal problems, many are now opting for paraben free products. But there is no need to freak! Parabens are said to be safe at low levels, which resulted in watchdog organizations that oversee and provide a limit on paraben levels.
Still iffy about parabens? There are also alternatives to paraben preservatives.
Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate (try saying that three times fast) is a broad-spectrum preservative that has effectively taken the place of parabens. It is made from glycine, an amino acid that is used in dietary supplements and stomach antacid. This alternative works in many pH levels, as well as acidic conditions, and has tested to be non-irritating, non-toxic and will not be damaging to DNA.
With the rise of natural ingredients and products, it’s no wonder natural preservatives are also an alternative to parabens. These preservatives come in the form of essential oils and vitamins, which include vitamin E, tea tree oil and grape seed extract. To be an effective preservative, this alternative may be paired with other natural substances. While many are looking to organic and natural ingredients, the only set back of natural preservatives is that they must be used in high concentrations in order to achieve a long-term anti-bacterial effect. As a result, skin irritation can occur.
Organic acids derive from naturally occurring acid and salts. Since it is in an un-dissociated acidic form, it allows the organic acids to be a powerful agent against molds and yeasts that can grow in liquid cosmetics. When paired with other preservative ingredients, organic acids are able to be an effective preservative that protects against bacteria in cosmetics.
Although many are skeptical of products that contain parabens, there are also alternative preservatives that will allow you to avoid damage, while enjoying your favorite cosmetic products. Still curious? Contact us to learn more and allow us to assist you in finding the right formula for your product!