Monday, September 24, 2007

so what's the deal with parabens?

In my search for safer cosmetics, I have noticed a lot of products, shampoos and conditioners mostly, advertising that they are paraben free. So what are parabens and why would I rather be without them?

Parabens are a group of preservatives added to beauty products to keep them from growing bacteria and to increase their shelf life. They are widely used in the cosmetic industry because they are cheap and have, until recently, been considered safe. Recent studies have linked parabens to increased estrogen levels and increased risks of breast cancer. This recent article in the Chicago Tribune gives a brief but good summary. So while concerns are rising over parabens, the US FDA has stated that consumers do not need to be concerned.

The way I see it, if a few studies have shown links between parabens and breast cancer, there will probably me more. So I picked out a couple of paraben-free shampoos & conditioners to test them out.


Avalon Organics has a range of skin, body & hair care products including a baby line. They are a company committed to producing quality products using safe ingredients. Their shampoos are made without the use of parabens or sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates.

I purchased two shampoos and one conditioner. The Peppermint Revitalizing Shampoo has an intense peppermint scent and tingles on the scalp. I find that it works especially well when my hair gets a bit greasy or when my scalp is really itchy. The Ylang Ylang Glistening Shampoo is also very aromatic and cleans really well. I can't say that my hair appeared shinier than usual, but I am blessed with healthy, moderately shiny hair so I don't really need a lot of help in that department.

The Clarifying Lemon Conditioner is excellent. I'm a sucker for a good citrus scent and this one is beautiful. And I found that I didn't have to use very much, just a quarter size dollop on my long hair, to get a great conditioning effect.



I also picked up a bottle of Burt's Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Shampoo. Burt's Bees is an earth friendly company that specializes in natural beauty products. This shampoo is paraben sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate and phthalate free. The scent is lovely and quite sweet and it left my hair squeaky clean and shiny.

The only thing I had difficulty with all three shampoos was the lather, or lack thereof. I guess this has something to do with the lack of chemicals in the formulation but at first it was very weird to not have a head full of lather. With the Burt's Bees in particular, I found I had to use a lot more than I normally would to get a decent lather. For that reason alone, I probably won't buy the Burt's Bees again. The lather problem was not as bad with the Avalon Organics shampoos and I found that after a couple of months of using them, I got used to the reduced lather.

As for the cost, the Avalon Organics products were $8.99 at Whole Foods in Oakville and $7.49 at Goodness Me in Burlington. I picked up the Burt's Bees at Shopper's Drug Mart for $10.99. Since my hair is just as clean and healthy as before, I've decided to stick with paraben free shampoos and conditioners and look forward to trying other brands.

30 comments:

e-Lizabeth said...

just so ya know - most commercial shampoos use salts that help with the lather. that's why some of the more natural ones don't lather quite as much. It's not a big deal, it's just that the adverts get you thinking you oughta have loadsa suds every time - not necessary

my 2 cents from working in soapy stuff for a few years :)

vivian said...

Interesting. I did not know that but it does make sense, given that water softners use salt. And when you bathe in softened water, the suds are huge. Thanks for the info elizabeth.

rebecca said...

I am a lab technician for a cosmetic company. i develop products.
The reason that salt is added to surfactant products is to thicken them.
salt will only thicken sulfate products i.e sls/sles or als, roughly 1% will thicken the product nicely. And its incredibly cheep.
the reason that there will be no salt in "natural" products is that most "natural" surfactants will actually get thinner if you add salt! you would have to use something like Xanthum gum to get a good viscosity.
If you ahve any questions send me an email Rebecca@asquithandsomerset.com
Rebecca

vivian said...

Rebecca, thanks so much for your comment. Very helpful. I will be in touch with you with more questions once I get this blog going again. I do have a few questions about other ingredients that go into cosmetics.
I hope to have the new version of this blog up and running in April or May.

Jennie said...

Ran into your blog by coincidence. Just wanted to let you know something about the conditioners from Avalon. I used to use and loved the lavender conditioner, since it worked great on my thick curly hair.

I asked the makers of my Danish organic conditioner (www.urtekram.dk) why they couldn't makes theirs more effective on hair like mine (most Danes have straight thin hair). They told me that the cyclopentasiloxane Avalon puts in the conditioners is the same stuff as Pantene et al. uses, and it ain't good stuff to put in your body.

I was heartbroken, but I have learned to live with urtekram's rose conditioner. It also helps that I don't shampoo more than once a week, and only brush my hair when it's necessary.

Sorry to comment on such an old post, but the topic is an evergreen! :-)

Anonymous said...

It is remarkable, very useful idea

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Nice fill someone in on and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you on your information.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for Woman and was wondering if Anna Sui is the best designer for Woman?

Anonymous said...

apple patch diet -
art of approaching -
auction inspector -
av advance -
build a nice store -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
catch spouse cheating -
chikara reiki do -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy that game -
cure gout now -
dl guard -
dog training online -
driver checker -
driver robot -
drop shipping wholesalers -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -
error killer -
error smart -
evidence eraser -
evidence nuker -
ex girlfriend guru -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -

Anonymous said...

apple patch diet -
art of approaching -
auction inspector -
av advance -
build a nice store -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
catch spouse cheating -
chikara reiki do -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy that game -
cure gout now -
dl guard -
dog training online -
driver checker -
driver robot -
drop shipping wholesalers -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -
error killer -
error smart -
evidence eraser -
evidence nuker -
ex girlfriend guru -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -

Anonymous said...

fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
forex grid bot -
get google ads free -
get paid to draw -
get this off my chest now -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
honest riches -
learn photoshop now -
linden method -
malware removal bot -
marketing on the fringe -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
my online income system -
negative calorie diet -
no adware -
one minute cure -
one week marketing -
online pickup secrets -
partenon -

Anonymous said...

pc on point -
perfect optimizer -
perfect uninstaller -
pick the gender of your baby -
power cash secret -
profit lance -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button marketer -
quit smoking today -
registry easy -
registry easy download -
registry fix -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
reverse phone detective -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket spanish -
rss power plus -
sem business blueprint -
silent sales machine -
spam bully -
sports betting champ -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
starting a day care center -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the super mind evolution system -
traffic travis -
truth about abs -

Anonymous said...

turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
twitter affiliate cash -
twitter decoded -
video piggy -
video web wizard -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
your bill killer -
you will get paid -
zygor guides -
20 day persuasion -
advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -
affiliate naire -
apple patch diet -
article submitter -
art of approaching -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy that game -
cure for bruxism -
cure hemorrhoids -
cyber link pro -
dl guard -
driver checker -
driver robot -

Anonymous said...

drop shipping wholesalers -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy click mate -
easy photo biz -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
epinoisis -
error fix -
error killer -
error smart -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
hippo jaw -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
honest riches -
hot video squeeze templates -
instant website creation -

Anonymous said...

jump manual -
keyword research pro -
linden method -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
micro niche finder -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
my traffic strategy -
nasty dirty money -
negative calorie diet -
no adware -
pc optimizer pro -
perfect uninstaller -
pergola plans -
pick the gender of your bady -
plr ebook club -
pregnancy without pounds -
profit lance -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
questions for couples -
quit smoking today -
ready made review sites -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry easy download -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -

Anonymous said...

richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
rocket spanish -
roulette sniper -
rss ground -
secret affiliate weapon -
secrets book -
spam bully -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
starting a day care center -
tattoo fever -
team idemise -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
the super mind evolution system -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
wrap candy -
zygor guides -
7day ebook -
360 fix kit -
advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -

Anonymous said...

affiliate naire -
art of approaching -
beating adwords -
believe and manifest -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
convert 2 ev -
cure for bruxism -
cure hemorrhoids -
digi cam cash -
digital media solution -
dl guard -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -
error killer -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -

Anonymous said...

fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
flatten your abs -
gamers testing ground -
gov auction -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov records -
herbal hair solution -
homebre ware -
home job group -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
inteli gator -
joanas world -
joyful tomato -
kidney stone remedy -
learn digital photography now -
learn elements now -
linden method -
lose man boobs -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
niche adsense themes -
ninety day powerseller -
pc optimizer pro -
pregnancy miracle -
pregnancy without pounds -

Anonymous said...

privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
quit smoking today -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
seo elite -
spyware cease -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
stock assault -
talking to toddlers -
the action machine -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbo cash generator -
turbulence training -
twitter online system -
uncle sams money -

Anonymous said...

Kevin murphy shampoo is sulphate and paraben free!

Emma said...

I switched over to using only certified organic shampoo because all of the ingredients are natural and organic. Some natural products do contain a degree of other synthetic chemicals so I always go over the ingredients first before I buy.

Kyle Jin said...

YOU ARE RIGHT...about paraben.

my wife's name also called vivian.

Kyle Jin
Irvine, CA

Kyle Jin said...

YOU ARE RIGHT...about paraben.

my wife's name also called vivian.

Kyle Jin
Irvine, CA

Anonymous said...

I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I'm assuming having
a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I'm not very internet smart so I'm not 100% sure. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

my blog - http://appstunes.com/story.php?title=kerrie-reuter’s-blog-1sekolah1portal-1

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I've recently been looking for information approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I've found out so far.
But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure in regards
to the source?

my web-site ... Crispers

Anonymous said...

My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was
entirely right. This post truly made my day.
You can not believe just how so much time I had spent
for this information! Thank you!

my web site - Binary Options Scam

Anonymous said...

I feel like I've seen this page earlier on , but upon taking some time on here it's obvious that this is a new web page.
Still, I'm gonna bookmark this blog and begin following it frequently. . It's reminded me precisely
why I loved this blog so much.
Kudos, I will try and check back more often. . How frequently
do you update your site these days?

Also visit my weblog - www.facebook.giaynu.net

Anonymous said...

My sis told me about your website and how great it is.

She’s right, I'm really impressed with the writing and slick design. It seems to me you’re just scratching the surface in terms of what you'll be able to accomplish, but you’re off to an awesome begin!


My blog: having trouble getting pregnant the third time

Anonymous said...

This is a topic that is close to my heart... Cheers!
Where are your contact details though?

my web page; playstation 2 console black