You are what you eat ... and come in contact with.
Parabens are the most commonly used preservatives in cosmetic products (shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers) and other personal care products (shaving cream, soaps). Sulfates are other chemicals used in these products to aid in delaying their spoiling. They are a common irritant to skin, eyes, and lungs, and can also be detrimental to animals in the ocean (when your products get washed down the drain). So even if you don’t particularly feel the effects yourself, think of the impact your sulfate-packed products are having on the environment around you! There isn’t really a standard for the quantity allowable in cosmetics or personal care products, so they could make up up to half of the ingredients in your products, depending on the brand and product. Parabens may make up a smaller amount of each product you use, but the accumulation of using a bunch of different products with parabens in them is what can be detrimental to your health.
While sulfates are basically an irritant to your skin, Parabens are linked to disrupting hormone function. That’s huge because it’s not something you get immediate feedback from, so you could potentially be affected way after you start using these products. Hormone function is integral for healthy weight management, stress management, energy levels, and sleep performance. Aside from these factors, parabens can also be linked to cause cancer in excessive amounts. If you are cleaning your house with cleaning products that have parabens, and you’re washing your hair with a shampoo and conditioner that have parabens, and using makeup or shaving cream that has parabens, and then styling your hair or even washing your clothes with products that have parabens, you are accumulating an unhealthy amount of parabens on a daily (even hourly) basis.
Companies resorted to adding parabens and extra ingredients to products because it allowed companies to mass-produce cosmetics and personal care products that would last a lifetime. This brought costs down, which allowed more people access to these products. Finding products without parabens or added chemical ingredients was costly, if you could even find them available in your area.
Thankfully, we are now living in a time where there are more sulfate-free, paraben-free options at lower costs than before. You can walk into almost any supermarket, or hop on amazon and find a few products that will work for you!
Replacing everything at once can seem daunting, so here are some suggestions on how to start making the switch away from parabens and sulfates in your products:
Take a closer look at what products you use every day, and which ones you aren’t really using as much. The products you use most often are the ones that should be higher on the list to replace first.
Think about what you really need, and what is just a “nice to have.” Would it be awesome to have paraben/sulfate-free disinfecting wipes AND cleaning spray? Of course. Can you make do with just one of these cleaning products for now? Of course you can.
Okay, so here are some definite recommendations for products you should consider switching ASAP-rocky:
If you live in California, you can basically find these products in any supermarket. If you live anywhere else, there are some awesome online stores that you can visit to get them (aka AMAZON).
Here are the common names of parabens and sulfates so that you can avoid them when shopping:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
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