For Senior Women: Dangerous Skin Care Chemicals

Mar 20th, 2011 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

When a senior woman launches a mission, watch out!  Well dear friends, I’m launching a mission.  It’s about dangerous (or potentially dangerous) chemicals we put on our skin and into our bodies.  The first one in this series of articles is about parabens.

Parabens are chemicals that are added to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as a preservative.  They are also added to some foods.  (Read the labels, Friends!)  They inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus in whatever they are added.  (Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) does too, but it’s not as efficient/effective as parabens.

The danger of parabens in our bodies has NOT been proved by scientific research.  However, parabens have been found in very low concentrations in breast cancer tissue on pathological examination (20 nanograms/g of tissue).  They can also mimic estrogen, which we all know plays a part in breast cancer.  These two findings in scientific research ”…have led some scientists to conclude that the presence of parabens may be associated with the occurrence of breast cancer,[13][14] and to call for investigation into whether or not a causal link exists.” 

 ”The lead researcher of the UK study, molecular biologist Philippa Darbre, reported that the ester-bearing form of the parabens found in the tumors indicate that they came from something applied to the skin, such as an underarm deodorant, cream or body spray, and stated that the results helped to explain why up to 60% of all breast tumors are found in just one-fifth of the breast – the upper-outer quadrant, nearest the underarm.”  (Wikipedia)

“From this research it is not possible to say whether parabens actually caused these tumors, but they may certainly be associated with the overall rise in breast cancer cases. Given that breast cancer is a large killer of women and a very high percentage of young women use underarm deodorants, I think we should be carrying out properly funded, further investigations into parabens and where they are found in the body,” says Philip Harvey, an editor of the Journal of Applied Toxicology, which published the research.  (Wikipedia)

What is clear from this documented information is that further scientific research needs to be conducted on the effect of parabens on breast cancer and other disease.  In the meantime, as for me and my family, we aren’t buying products that include the paraben additive.  There are lots of other options out there, and we senior women can find them easily on Internet websites.  Send an email to admin@seniorcitizenjournal.com if you have difficulty finding paraben-free skin care.  We will send you links to websites that offer alternatives.



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