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Parabens are a group of chemicals used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. They are widely found in shampoos, moisturizers, liquid soaps, personal lubricants, sunscreens, antiperspirants, toothpastes, and topical pharmaceuticals. They are also sometimes used as food additives. Look for ingredients like: butylparaben, parabens, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, sodium methylparaben, sodium propylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, and benzylparaben.
While parabens are generally considered safe because of their low toxicity profile and their long history, recent studies have begun to challenge this view. Experiments on animals have shown that parabens have weak estrogenic activity. One controversial scientific study has reported that parabens were found in 19 of 20 samples of breast tumors. However, no direct link between parabens and cancer has been definitively proven. Nevertheless, recent studies have elicited some concern about the effects of daily, repeated use of parabens in cosmetics and antiperspirants and the consequent accumulation of parabens in human tissue. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tested urine from 100 adults and found parabens in nearly all samples.
For most people, parabens are non-irritating and non-sensitizing. For people with paraben allergies, products containing parabens can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis.
DwellSmart's personal care products are free of parabens.