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Decoding labels: What does "Paraben-Free" mean?



In a world with rising consumer awareness, we ought to know about the ingredients that we put on our faces as well. ‘PARABEN-FREE’ is what many skin care products claim to be and what most of us know so far is ‘paraben-free’ products are certainly good for the skin.

Parabens are popular but controversial preservatives widely used in the beauty industry to increase the shelf-life of personal care products. They prevent the growth of bacteria and so the products last longer. It is very common to find either a list of parabens in the ingredients of products such as shampoo, lotions, cleansers, etc. or products labeled as 'paraben-free.


WHY ARE THEY BAD?


In a study, parabens were linked to cancer, although it is still not evident. Nor these studies apply to the small fraction (1% or less) of parabens typically used in cosmetics. However, the paper did prove that parabens are able to pass through the skin barrier and into our bodies, and hence, they've got a bad reputation.


SHOULD WE GO PARAREN-FREE OR NOT?


Well! That is still a point of debate, but there are many alternatives available now. Many researchers have expressed that since they could be absorbed in the skin, they could potentially contribute to adverse health effects. It can also cause skin irritation, especially to sensitive skin. As the ingredient is still controversial, we understand the concern and if people choose to avoid them.

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