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Do the Parabens in Your Lotions & Shampoos Cause Cancer?

Kitty is a registered nurse. She uses what she has learned on the job to inspire and encourage others to take control of their health.

What cancer-causing agents might be lurking in your medicine cabinet?

What cancer-causing agents might be lurking in your medicine cabinet?

Do Parabens Cause Cancer?

What exactly are parabens, and do they cause cancer? Parabens are a certain type of synthetic preservative that can be found in most widely manufactured lotions, shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers—and even some cereals and snacks!

If you go into your medicine cabinet or into your bathroom and pick up your lotion bottles from your local drug store or pharmacy, I can guarantee that you will see any one or all of the following parabens: methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, and/or ethyparaben. But there are preservatives in everything, you say? Yes, it is sad but unfortunately true, and many of those preservatives are doing more damage to our bodies than we might even know.

While it's true that the media is constantly coming out with new "tests" and "studies" that report on newly discovered causes of cancer, the hundreds of studies that have been conducted on the link between parabens and cancer do seem to conclusively show that parabens cause cancer. Specifically, parabens have been highly linked to breast cancer.

Do something healthy and natural for your hair: buy paraben-free products.

Do something healthy and natural for your hair: buy paraben-free products.

According to, parabens cause cancer as well as a range of other modern side effects such as early puberty and a decrease in sperm levels in men. The early puberty is more than evident to parents in today's generation than it ever has been in years past. When I was in elementary school, in first grade to be exact, one girl had already started growing breasts. Today, it is common to see at least a few girls in elementary school who started very early puberty. Some boys have even been known to show signs of breast growth. Can this be attributed to evolution, or simply harmful chemicals that we are pumping into our bodies without realizing it?

How would parabens cause cancer if they do indeed cause cancer, you may ask. Over time, parabens seep into our endocrine systems through the skin and disrupt our healthy endocrine systems by mirroring the effects of estrogen. Too much estrogen can be an attribution to breast cancer, as well as (duh) early puberty and breasts on little boys. Making sense yet?

Most deodorants on the market contain parabens!

Most deodorants on the market contain parabens!

I am a strong believer that the synthetic preservatives, specifically for this article parabens, are aiding in our society's increasing health problems, specifically cancer. Do parabens cause cancer? I believe they do, but that doesn't mean you have to believe it. Do the research for yourself...take the risk if you want to or do something healthy for yourself and start purchasing beauty and body products that contain no parabens. If parabens cause cancer, you don't want to have them around your house!

Unfortunately it is very difficult to keep parabens that cause cancer out of your daily life, and why? Because nearly 75 to 90% of the body washes, shampoos, lotions, moisturizers, face creams and even make-up contain parabens. Believe it or not. Why would these companies be giving us beauty and body products that contain parabens that could cause cancer? Because parabens are a preservative and keep that romantically pungent, Sweetpea lotion on your shelf to use for years to come. Is it cheaper for these large companies (Suave, Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret, Avon, Clinique) to use parabens that cause cancer? I have no idea, but it would make more sense to me if they left the preservative parabens out of their products...that way we would end up buying more anyways!

Most make-up products on the market are full of parabens that cause cancer.

Most make-up products on the market are full of parabens that cause cancer.

Healthy Alternatives to Cancer-Causing Parabens

Do parabens cause cancer? If they do or they don't, the point is that they are a type of synthetic chemical preservative and science has proven that preservatives are not healthy for the human body in large doses...whether it be rubbed onto our skin for seventy years or consumed by our digestive systems. They say that dead bodies that go into the ground last much much longer than the did fifty years ago because of all of the preservatives that we take into our bodies these days. Scary, huh?

I don't know about you, but I am making an effort to cut out the parabens causing cancer out of my life - out of my beauty products, body products, and any collaborative foods. There are healthy alternatives to parabens on the market today; it just takes some research and patience to find decent products free of parabens.

One particular product that I use, as well as use on my little girl, is Pure & Natural's Body Wash. It's paraben-free, 100% biodegradable, and is packaged in a 100% recyclable bottle. Plus, here's the best news, I purchased it at the nearest Publix Grocery Store for the same price as Dove Body Wash or Caress! (I want to say it was about $3.99?)

Amazon has a whole myriad of paraben free beauty and body products that are well worth looking into, including makeup by Vasanti and Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoos and body washes. There are even baby body washes made paraben free.

There are some articles on the internet that claim that the whole "parabens cause cancer" idea has gotten out of hand. But let's be real with ourselves here, could all of these synthetic chemicals be healthy for our bodies?

If parabens cause cancer, let's reduce our risk of cancer by taking care of our bodies, inside and out. Cut the parabens out of your life, then work on the rest of the preservatives for a healthier life and body.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Jami on October 23, 2013:

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Another way to avoid parabens is by shopping locally -- many people handmake beautifully scented lotions and don't use parabens. Try local shops to find handmade lotions and soaps!

id on May 13, 2012:

We all die in the end anyway, one way or the other. ?

precy anza from USA on April 06, 2012:

Glad I decided switching to paraben free shampoos and soaps. Now as I read your very useful hub, I need to go through our lotions and read the ingredients.:) Thank you for this.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on March 11, 2012:

fit2day - You're absolutely right about that, friend. Thanks for reading.

LauraGT - Thanks so much. Happy that there's more and more people out there who are realizing the dangers that we're exposed to on a daily basis.

LauraGT from MA on March 10, 2012:

Thanks for the hub. Just linked to it on a hub about 4-MEIs in Coke and Pepsi. So much out there that we're exposed to. The more we know, the more we can reduce our exposure!

fit2day on September 29, 2011:

There's a sad reality that companies don't care what they put in their products and we the consumers have a duty to educate ourselves about harmful additives. I quit using commercial products and use those with ingredients commonly found in nature, they work better too.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 15, 2011:

sophie_allen - Thanks, pretty lady! You're right, organic seems to be the way to go to keep our bodies from taking in too many preservatives and synthetics. Thanks for reading and sharing. :)

sophie_allen from Washington D.C. USA 20002 on September 15, 2011:

Great hub here! I guess it is better to go organic nowadays. There are a lot of natural and organic body products that promote cell regeneration and infuse the skin with antioxidants. Using organic skin care is better than exposing our family to parabens.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 14, 2011:

Thanks, Ruskin.

Ruskin Strokes on September 14, 2011:

Great hub.Nice information as well.Thanks a lot for sharing this :)


Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 13, 2011:

Venzkhvam - The name isn't Kathy it's Kitty. Thanks for voting and commenting, though. :)

VENZKHVAM from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers on September 13, 2011:

You are true Kathy,

Parabens are dangerous.I dont know why some politician take this matter in politics and put a ban to this.

I think we should start online campaign,against this and put an end to this.

I think it is best now a days to buy only herbal products with out any chemical in it.



Looking forward to hear from you

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 13, 2011:

homesteadbound - Thanks so much. Glad you found it useful. Agreed!

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on September 13, 2011:

Wow! Great information. And you're right, if we live longer, then we would use more product in the long run!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 13, 2011:

Melovy - While it's possible to find paraben free products in supermarkets, there's not a large selection in the US, our country is full of companies that just want to make a quick profit, no matter the cost of human health, unfortunately. I'll have to check out the "Jason" brand of paraben free products. Thanks for sharing!

Yvonne Spence from UK on September 13, 2011:

It’s great to see this information in a hub. I have been avoiding parabens for many years, and once you get used to it, it’s not so difficult, though perhaps we just have more available where I live. One option is definitely to order on-line.

One brand that you haven’t mentioned that is paraben free and reasonably priced is Jason. It’s a US brand but we also get it here in the UK, and it’s not much more expensive than ‘ordinary’ shampoos.

For some cosmetics it’s also possible to make your own, sunflower or rose oils are both good moisturisers that are easily absorbed by the skin.

I’m actually optimistic about this, as I see more and more organic and preservative free toiletries appearing on the shelves. Here in the UK there are even some supermarkets that stock them.

Thanks for adding to awareness with this hub.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 13, 2011:

JS Matthew - I agree, you're most likely right! Sad isn't it?

writer20 - Yes, there are just too many beauty products with parabens in them. Scary, right?

LL Woodard - Very true. We can try to avoid them as much as we can. We probably can't thoroughly avoid them, but even minimizing some of our exposure might help!

seriousnuts - It does seem quite expensive, however doable by purchasing over the internet instead of at local stores. You'd have to use the products without parabens sparingly. And yes, you're correct in saying that our world is so reliant on chemicals it's ridiculous! Too many preservatives in everything. I wish we could have a preservative free-world, but alas! It will probably never happen. Thanks so much for commenting. YOu know I read somewhere that our bodies can take on 5 pounds worth of lotion into our skin a year!

seriousnuts from Philippines on September 13, 2011:

Hi kittythedreamer,

I am also trying to avoid parabens. However, it is very difficult to find paraben-free products in my local store, and if there is a paraben-free product, it is usually very expensive. Products containing parabens are still allowed to be sold in the market because they only contain small portion of parabens that are believed to be safe by the scientific community. Despite that, since many many products out there contain parabens, then the amount would accumulate in our bodies to who knows how much dosage. They might probably accumulate to an amount that will already become harmful to our body. Scary indeed.

Aside from parabens, there are many other chemicals that I am trying to avoid. Yet, similar to parabens, those chemicals appear everywhere! It's so hard to stay safe in our chemical-dependent world. I realized that aside from avoiding these products, we should also eat nutritious foods that hopefully, will counter the effects of these harmful substances.

Good hub! :)

L.L. Woodard from Oklahoma City on September 12, 2011:

Thanks for the heads up on parabens. There is no sense exposing ourselves to any more chemicals than is absolutely necessary.

Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on September 12, 2011:

Jeez, I just looked at the Cutemol I use to keep my cuticles soft and yes Paraben is the list of indredients

next to the last one and this came from my skin Dr. now I'm to take a lot at my other creams. Thank you for this hub. voted up

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on September 12, 2011:

Funny thing is that it's probably the same Pharmaceutical companies that make the cancer-causing products and the medicine that "fights" the cancer! Interesting Hub.


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