You may have noticed more and more beauty product lines are advertising on their labels that their products are paraben and sulfate free, but what exactly are parabens and sulfates? And are they really the enemy?
Can Somebody Please Break Down a Paraben for Me?
Parabens are used as a preservative, so your shampoos, conditioners, lotions, etc. don’t spoil before you’ve made it to the bottom of the bottle. Parabens are antibacterial and prevent bacteria from growing inside your beauty product.
Dangers of Paraben
Well, the worrying thing about parabens is that they have now been linked to breast cancer. Now hold on a minute, no one is claiming that it causes breast cancer, BUT they have found paraben inside breast cancer tumors and has been proven to increase the growth of breast cancer cells, so, well, that’s just a big NO THANK YOU.
And What About Sulfates?
Sulfate in shampoo is actually what causes that fun foamy stuff. Sulfate is meant to reduce the tension between a liquid and a solid, which is what creates the rich lather and gets rid of oil and dirt.
Warnings Against Sulfates
Sulfates have been linked to hair loss, because it damages hair follicles and prevents new hair growth. Sulfates are especially worrisome for people who have allergies or have sensitivities to them. Anyone with asthma should definitely stay away from sulfates, but sulfates have also been warned to cause dermatitis, flushing, hypotension, diarrhea, among other ugly side effects. Sound enticing? No, not really.