There is a lot of speculation as to whether skincare products that contain parabens could be putting you at risk for breast cancer. Among traditional products that contain parabens are body lotions, face creams, serums, cleansers, body creams, and sunscreens. Most women use most or all of these products daily, so what’s the real deal on breast cancer and skincare products?
What are parabens?
Parabens are a group of synthetic compounds commonly used as fillers or preservatives that increase the shelf life of beauty products. They are an assortment of the very few preservatives that effectively prevent the growth of yeast, bacteria, fungi, and mold from growing in mainstream skincare and other beauty products – which is the reason they are so popular.
The American Chemical Society estimates that parabens are in about 85% of personal care products - including your mainstream skincare products.
Though parabens can enter the body in a variety of ways, scientists believe that the majority of parabens are absorbed through the skin (our body’s largest organ) via skincare products. Further, women tend to have higher paraben levels than men because they typically use more beauty products.
So, do parabens cause breast cancer?
While researchers say there is no direct link between parabens and breast cancer a study performed by researchers at the University of Reading in the UK found that roughly 99% of cancerous breast tumors contained parabens. The study established that in the presence of growth-promoting substances that are normally in breast tissue, parabens do encourage the growth of estrogen-sensitive breast tumors even in small amounts.
Although parabens are known to accelerate the growth of breast cancer cells and to mimic estrogen in the body, they do not cause breast cancer.
Can I decrease parabens levels in my body?
Yes. Thanks to consumer awareness and advocacy, many beauty and personal care companies, like
Soleil Essentials are producing more “natural” beauty products. Check our full-line of paraben-free skincare products.