Parabenes, a danger to health?
"Without parabens, dyes or mineral oils". Many companies boast of this label in their products boasting of being healthier and not harmful to health. But, what is true in this? New studies have revealed that the use of parabens in healthy skins does not generate any harm in people.
What are parabens?
Dr. Ana M Giménez-Arnau, dermatologist at the Hospital del Mar and the Institut Mar d'Investigacions Mediques in Barcelona, explains what they are and how they act.
Parabens or parabens belong to a group of chemical preservatives that They are used to preserve a large number of products in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. This group of preservatives has been used for more than 60 years and includes the methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben- forms. Also, the expert reminds us that current European legislation authorizes its use under certain concentrations. In general, parabens are used so that the products that contain them do not lose their properties and end up being damaged. In addition, they help eliminate bacteria and fungi.
Are parabens safe?
- Hormonal activity. Several reports have shown that the use of parabens is safe. Yes it is true that there is some hormonal activity caused by parabens, but experts emphasize that this activity is millions of times weaker than those caused by natural hormones.
- Effects on the skin. As long as our skin is well it will not suffer any damage caused by parabens. Although, in the case of suffering from chronic dermatitis, clinical experience has shown that affected patients may have a higher risk of becoming sensitized to parabens.
- Against dermatitis. The ability of parabens to create allergic contact dermatitis is discussed. But it has now been demonstrated, by means of a standardized cutaneous provocation study, that the rate of positive reactions of dermatitis is less than 1 percent.
Types of parabens
There are several types of parabens but not all are allowed to be used for consumer products.
- Safe parabenes. In the case of ethyl- and methyl-propyl- and butyl- forms, their use is considered safe under the concentration permitted by law.
- Parebenes prohibited. Forms such as benyl-, pentyl-, isopropyl-, isobutyl- and phenylparaben are parabenes detrimental to health and are prohibited. In the case of benizilpareben, its use is not allowed since its capacity to cause cancer has been demonstrated.
Noelia de Santiago Monteserín