Parabens, Why not?
Parabens, Why not?
Well first of a ll we need to know what a paraben is and where to find it.
Parabens are a group of compounds (methyl-, butyl- and propyl- paraben, they are also known as hydroxybenzoic acid such as methyl-para-hydroxybezoic acid).
This class of chemicals are widely used across the board in cosmetic manufacture as a preservative.
They are also to be found lurking in the pharmaceutical industry. Found in off the shelf shampoo, moisturiser, shaving gel, deodorants, make up and toothpaste. These compounds and their associated salts are commonly used for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
It all sounds good so far doesn't it? After all who wants musty deodorant or furry moisturiser?
There are arguments going for and against the use of parabens. It has been widely circulated that the use of these compounds is mostly safe. However, it has also been widely publicised that parabens have been heavily linked to cancer. Personally I would rather err on the side of caution. Through research carried out at Reading University upon the breast tissue of patients who have undergone mastectomy due to breast cancer it was found that 99% of all the samples contained parabens 60% contained all five types of paraben that were being tested for.
Here is a link to NHS site that carry the relevant information.
Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers. The paraben propyl paraben has been linked to a decrease in sperm level. This is with a daily intake of the accepted EU level of this paraben. The way it mimics oestrogen has been linked to young girls going through puberty at a younger age. An age where they may not be emotionally developed enough to cope with such changes without distress.
The jury is still hung over the effect of this chemical on the development of young adults and babies. However, I for one do not wish to take these risks with either my own lifestyle or in Merionwen's products.
It is for these reasons you will never find parabens in Merionwen's products.
If you want to get involved yourslef have a look at the Campaingne for Safe Cosmetics.
Indeed there are much kinder forms of preservative out there. Due to EU law we have to have a preservative in hydrous products as the very presence of water can encourage fungal and bacterial growth. Rest assured, Merionwen will only use the most natural, gentle and kind preservatives.
One such preservative I shall be using is ÒPreservative EcoÓ. The ingredients are as follows :-
Benzyl alcohol. An organic compound, benzyl alcohol is produced naturally by many plants and is commonly found in fruits and teas. It is also found in a variety of essential oils including jasmine, hyacinth, and ylang-ylang. It acts as a bactericide.
Salicylic Acid. An organic acid the term salicylic comes from the latin salix meaning willow. It has historically been extracted from willow bark and meadowsweet and used as the active ingredient in asprin. It acts as a bactericide.
Glycerine. A by-product of soap making. Even soap made with natural ingredients! It is a clear, viscose liquid that is harmless and used across the board as a suspension for other compounds.
Sorbic acid. Isolated from unripe rowan berries this is an entirely natural compound. It is antimicrobial in it's action. It has the added advantage of degrading quickly in soil so it has long been considered extremely environmentally friendly.
Now enough science and back to the blending room.
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