Parabens Explained.


Happy Pits have a claim of being “paraben-free”.  What does this mean?  For the most part we understand what it means to have natural and organic ingredients and what it means to be cruelty free, but parabens are a different story.  So let me explain!

Parabens are a group of chemical preservatives that are widely used in cosmetic products. From commercially available moisturizers, shampoos, and serums to creams, lotions, and toothpastes – almost all commercial cosmetic products contain parabens. Parabens prevent the growth of bacteria and molds in the product. Products containing parabens can last for years.

The most commonly used parabens include:

  • Butylparaben
  • Isobutylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben

Parabens are often used in combination with other preservatives to make sure that they can protect the product from a broad range of bacteria and microbes.  Parabens are popular because they are more effective than preservatives.

However, parabens are adsorbed into your skin and they stay there.  So if you use products containing one or more of the above parabens you will have parabens in your body tissues and fluids.

Parabens are considered as xenoestrogens. In other words, these chemicals can mimic the hormone estrogen in your body. Parabens bind the estrogen receptors in your body. Compared to methylparaben and ethylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben have high estrogenic activity in the human body. This estrogenic activity may lead to breast cancer development.

Parabens can also sensitize the skin, causing allergic reactions.

As we become more savvy on what is healthy it is important to be informed and to make the right choices for your health.