Well I’ve wanted to do this post for a while now, especially after I stumbled across this report which made me raise an eyebrow. It’s about parabens. Big word there. Here’s a definition:
Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries
– thank you Wikipedia
My first reaction after reading the article was “great just one more thing that’ll kill us, just like all the cell phone waves that are turning our brains to jelly”. But then I remembered those three little anklebiters that call me “mum” and I that thought if I could possibly do my part to expose them to a few less chemicals, where is the harm in that?
Mind you this was also following on the back of the revelation that the red stuff my mom used to paint on my scraped knees back in the ’80’s (called Mercurochrome) actually contained mercury. Yeah. True story.
So, armed with the knowledge that I had managed to cheat a mercury-induced death (I was a real tomboy) I started to Google around the place looking for more info on these parabens. I found a couple of interesting articles:
These articles (as you may have guessed) are in support of avoiding parabens, if you can, on the basis of “why risk it?” This is pretty much my stance on the matter. To gain a balanced view, however, I found some articles that stated that the concentration of parabens that are used in various products are of such a low level they are unlikely to be harmful to humans. Here is one mainly for concerned parents:
I had a gander at the FDA website and they state that:
FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. However, the agency will continue to evaluate new data in this area.
However, I did note that the paraben page on the FDA site hadn’t been updated since 2007. So what was I going to do about all this mild paraben panic? Well I decided to inspect my cosmetics, toiletries, and those that I used for the kids. Imagine my complete lack of surprise when I found that just about everything I owned contained these preservatives. Even my super expensive Dermalogica face products. Great. Just my luck.
My plan of action? Simple. Throw them out. Seriously. I just binned it all. Most of the products were down to the last drops of liquid anyhow — things like the kids’ L’oreal shampoo and my Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner (man I was pissed). The hair products I used for the girls were already paraben free (Original Little Sprout – omg, I could do an entire post on them!) as were a decent amount of other products I use like my Dove Invisible Dry deodorant.
The next day I went shopping. A little experiment to see just what kind of products I could find that were paraben free.
Stay tuned for the details of what I found!