For years, parabens have been used to extend the shelf life of personal care products. If parabens are so safe, why is there an influx of products stating, “paraben-free” on the label? Is it because research has linked parabens to breast cancer? Naturally, we turned to the expert, David Hanen for answers. Mr. Hanen is the owner of Innovative Salon Products Inc and he’s a strong advocate for breast cancer research. Over the last four years, his company has supported such causes as the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
According to Mr. Hanen, parabens have been around for a very long time and they had been considered safe; as well as an effective preservative system. Mr. Hanen stated, “You’ll find that parabens are used in some food, but the majority of parabens are found in personal care products. Products such as lip balm, foundation makeup, shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion and mascara usually contain parabens. However, parabens over the last five years have gained an unpopular reputation. According to Mr. Hanen, parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen in the body, which means you’ll have excess estrogen in the body and parabens have been linked to breast cancer. Mr. Hanen stated, “Now there’s not specific science that proves or disproves it, so you’ll find positive and negative arguments on both sides of this issue.” But again the question is, “why expose ourselves to an ingredient that has a negative long-term effect or a perceived negative long-term effect for breast cancer?” Mr. Hanen stated, “My eight year old daughter, she’s nowhere near products that contain parabens. When my daughter is in her late 20’s or early 30’s, I don’t want her to run into the possibility of developing breast cancer.” Although we know that breast cancer has been linked by family history and other risk factors, but if we can take ingredients out of our personal care products that are harmful and still have a product be preserved, then why not? Mr. Hanen stated, “I don’t want to expose my daughter or anyone else’s daughter to carcinogens.” Mr. Hanen stated, “From a health perspective a lot of these ingredients proven by science are now being linked to health conditions such as birth defects, infertility and other issues.” However; Mr. Hanen wanted to clarify, he didn’t say,”parabens directly cause these conditions,” “but science is leaning towards them being the cause.”
According to Mr. Hanen, a lot of consumers believe just because the product states,” paraben free” it’s safe. However, there are preservative systems that are being used that are equally perceived just as harmful as parabens. What the consumer should look for when it comes to a healthier preservative system are food grade preservatives. For example sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate these are basically food grade preservatives that are being integrated into personal care products. Mr. Hanen stated, “Now when the pH is balanced in these products, these preservatives are equally as effective as parabens.” And the shelf life is the same, anywhere from 3 to 5 years. Mr. Hanen stated, “As a manufacturing company, we’ve moved basically into what is classified as, ‘food grade preservatives’ and we’re receiving the same effectiveness without the harmful side effects.” Food grade preservatives are gentler, milder and safer.
Mr. Hanen advised, with any personal care products, they need to be kept in a temperature control environment. When a person lives in a hot environment and they purchase in bulk and they store these products in their garage, by storing personal care products in a warm environment over time you’re challenging the preservative system. According to Mr. Hanen, the maximum heat for any preservative system should reach no higher than 90 degrees. Mr. Hanen stated, “In our test ovens we conduct longevity and shelf life testing. Our ovens are generally between 100 and 110 degrees, so if you store products in your garage in excessive heat for three months, it’s a breeding ground for mold, bacteria and yeast.” Mr. Hanen stated, “It’s been a long time since we’ve used parabens as a preservative for our products. We transitioned into a safer, gentler and milder preservative system that’s equally as effective as long as you don’t challenge it with heat.”
For more information about David Hanen and Innovative Salon Products Inc., you can visit their website at www.lomaforhair.com or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the ingredients found in the products you use, visit www.cosmeticdatabase.com.