Are Parabens Safe in Cosmetics?

Parabens are commonly used preservatives in personal care products. In 1998, studies in rats showed that parabens had estrogenlike properties and in a study of 20 subjects, Dr Philippa Darbre, Reader in Oncology at Reading University, made the link between parabens and breast cancer.  Researchers themselves noted that the study was small, and if anything, pointed to the need for more research.  An avalanche of media attention ensued, questioning whether parabens contribute to the formation of cancerous cells.

Parabens are found in everyday items such as soybeans, carrots, peanuts, corn, strawberries, blueberries, black tea and green tea.  Parabens in cosmetics are 100,000 times weaker than the estrogen naturally produced by the body. 

Consumer groups and environmental organizations have questioned current research attesting to the safety of parabens in cosmetics.  Only controlled, objective, double-blind research into paraben safety will end the debate--and has yet to be published.

  • Based on its research findings, The American Cancer Society (ACS) has concluded that there is not good science to support a claim that the use of parabens in cosmetics can increase an individual’s risk of developing breast cancer.
  • The FDA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that parabens are safe for use in cosmetics, and it also says that, based on the weight of all the current scientific evidence, there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of products containing parabens.
  • The CIR. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), an organization that reviews and assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased and expert manner, consolidated more than 265 studies in The Journal of Toxicology that noted a women’s daily cosmetic regimen using products that contain parabens caused no adverse reproductive effects and confirmed the safety of parabens.

Why is Okamura Farmacopia Paraben free?

As a working Licensed Esthetician, I have my hands in products all day long and the less chemical exposure, the better.  If you've ever had a mammogram, you know the quest for healthy breast tissue!  Findings may be inconclusive, but until I am satisfied that parabens are 100% safe, I will seek out other options.

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