Cosmetic products such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, powder, lotion, cream and herbal skin care is part of their daily needs and parcel of modern lifestyle. They have a lot of benefits to beautify, rejuvenate and even nourish the hair and skin. However, some products may contain harmful ingredients. Paraben is one of them.
Paraben is not the name of the substance, but the class of synthetic preservatives are added to products to extend shelf life. They are used not only in cosmetics but also in food, detergents, adhesives, medicines, etc.. Common parabens in cosmetics are butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, and isopropylparaben isobutylparaben. It is cheap and effective, paraben widely used by cosmetic manufacturers both large and small. Results of analysis of the label by the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) with Consumer Organisations Korea in March 2010 showed that of 36 cosmetic products were studied, 11 of them contain parabens. These products include famous brands such as Pigeon, Garnier, Zwitsal, Baby Dee, Viva, Shinzui, Mustika Ratu, Cussons and Lifebuoy.
Paraben has properties similar to the hormone estrogen. Too much estrogen can increase breast cancer risk and accelerate development. The results of a recent study by a team from the University of Reading, drafted in the Journal of Applied Toxicology (January 2012) states that of the 160 breast tumor tissue samples are removed in a mastectomy in 40 women, 99% contain parabens (158 samples) and 60% (96 samples ) of which contains five types of parabens. Are paraben the cause of the women with breast cancer? No one knows. Further research is still needed about it.
The results of the study by the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine states that all parabens are not the same. Several types of parabens safe, other types can mutate into harmful toxins when exposed to sunlight. Most cosmetic products contain more than one type of paraben.
By statute BPOM, parabens are preservatives ester type (p-hydroxybenzoic acid) are allowed with a maximum level of 0.4 percent for single-ester and 0.8 percent for the ester mixture (BPOM Head Rule No: HK.00.05.42.1018). Since there are on many products, you may unwittingly put it into the body exceeds recommended limits. You may use different products that contain parabens several times a day. The use in the long term could eventually harm your health.
Since 2004, the researchers advised to avoid parabens. But most cosmetic companies still use the excuse that the use only small amounts. But they did not mention that parabens from all cosmetic products can accumulate day after day. There is no research about it so as a result of the accumulation that no one knows.
Parabens in cosmetics as a preservative function. Many natural products that do not use parabens. Although it has a shorter shelf life and are more susceptible to decay, the products are safer. Some products add alcohol as a preservative. However, alcohol has deleterious effects on the skin and hair, so it is not recommended. In addition, alcohol is also avoided on the grounds of religion (not kosher).
There are a number of other chemical compounds are known to have the same effect as parabens. The problem is they are not commonly used, while parabens have been used since the 1950s. Still too little is known about the safety of these substances so that can not be ascertained whether it is more secure than parabens.