7 Reasons To Switch To Paraben And Sulfate-free Products
The promise of paraben and sulfate-products is appealing to most, but do you know why they are so important? Simply put, they are toxic and can seep beyond the skin’s surface, which can cause health concerns. We have listed seven reasons you should consider swapping your products for cleaner options if you want to reduce the number of chemicals in your beauty products.
- They are chemicals: Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are surfactants and cleansing agents packed with foaming properties. They are most commonly found in shampoos and body washes, and are responsible for stripping the scalp of moisture and natural oils.
- They have preservatives: If methylbutyl-, ethyl-, and propylparabens appear on your product’s ingredient list, then it is surely packed with preservatives. These chemicals are used to prevent bacteria growth and increase a product’s shelf-life. You can find them anywhere—from masks to mascaras.
- They can cause skin and scalp irritation: Both paraben and sulfate-free products are known to strip the skin and scalp of moisture and natural oils, which can lead to dryness, inflammation, redness, and sensitivity. It is advised to choose paraben and sulfate-free products if you deal with sensitive or acne-prone skin, and even dandruff. They can worsen your skin conditions and allergies.
- They can lead to hormonal imbalance: There is evidence that these chemicals mess with hormone levels. One study cited a decrease in menstrual cycle length in women with increased levels of parabens in their urine. Another study in the Environmental Health Perspectives states that parabens act like estrogen in the body—and increased estrogen can cause both normal and cancerous breast cells to grow and divide.
- They can cause early signs of ageing: Many dermatologists and beauty experts believe that these cheap chemicals and preservatives are a cause for premature ageing. Consider methylparaben as an example: It is a type of paraben that is responsible for collagen degradation and can cause cell depletion. To prevent yourself from early signs of ageing, choose only paraben and sulfate-free products.
- They can cause hair loss: According to International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, overuse of SLS damages hair follicles, leading to hair that is dry and breakage-prone. Sulfates, which are strong surfactants, also affect hair protein causing weak hair cuticles and excessive hair fall.
- They are a threat to marine life: When we choose paraben and sulfate-free products, we are not only being responsible for our health but also acting responsible towards the environment. Parabens and sulfates are both toxic to aquatic organisms and affect many aquatic ecosystems. These chemicals and their byproducts make their way into the bodies of marine species and can be life-threatening.
The question now is…what should you choose?
Paraben and sulfate-free products leave out toxic chemicals in their formulations and choose natural ingredients, which are more sustainable and better for the environment. It is true that some of the hardest-working ingredients in beauty products are naturally-derived. If you want to completely eliminate the use of chemicals in your beauty stash, opt for products that use ingredients like ethylhexylglycerin (which is plant-derived) or phenoxyethanol (a natural alternative to parabens). The best way to make an informed decision while choosing paraben and sulfate-free products is to read and focus on the ingredient list, and buy products that are kind to you and nature.