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Parabens are they good or bad?

Updated: Jan 14

You may ask.. What are Parabens? Parabens are preservatives added to many cosmetic products, medications and even some foods to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination.

You will see numerous products boosting about being paraben free and advertising this as a selling point. However, this year, American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) named Parabens as the noncontact allergen of the year.


Let me explain what this means.

Every year the ACDS comes up with an ingredient that is advertised or suspected of being an allergen but in reality, has very low risk of causing contact dermatitis. Research shows that from a contact dermatitis standpoint, parabens have a very low reaction rate, making them one of the safest preservative options in cosmetics. This means that parabens are not something we need to be avoiding in our skin care products. Let me say this a different way! Parabens are very unlikely to cause skin problems!


There is currently no data to support paraben exposure as a risk factor for breast cancer. Parabens also have very little systemic absorption when applied topically to intact skin.

So, if the jury is still out on the risk of parabens you may ask, well why not just avoid them altogether? In order for our creams to stay fresh and not be mold contaminated within a few weeks, we need some kind of preservative added and these companies turn to either more irritating or potentially more harmful ingredients such as formaldehyde derivatives.


Now that I have gone on a tangent about parabens, my recommendation would be to continue to use paraben containing products without worry. We know it acts as a great preservative with very little skin reaction and to date there is no information implying cause of cancer due to parabens!


Your Dynamic Dermatology team wishes everyone a joyous holiday season!


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