What to be careful when buying cosmetics?

In a temptation of creating an e-shop of bio-cosmetics in Greece, I came in touch in depth with the bio-products. We unfortunately discover that an low-cost e-shop of bio-products was today impossible to create, and we realize that in our time of crisis the prices are too high for many products such cosmetics (3€ for a basic shower gel while 6,5€ for a bio shower gel). So what did I learn to be careful about? How can you protect yourself even if you can’t buy an organic shower gel?

If you can take the time to read the etiquette of the products you buy, than this is the first step in being aware of what you use. Since the coming out of organic products, a name usually comes out: parabens. Parabens “are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries[1]. These preservatives have been found in extremely low concentrations in breast cancer tumors, have also displayed the ability to slightly mimic estrogen (hormone playing a role in the development of breast cancer) may be a factor in the increasing prevalence of early puberty in girls. Even if no direct link has been found today, we have to avoid using cosmetics with such substances. Many brands are no longer using their common names on their etiquettes. Because they are afraid to include the word “paraben” they might use the scientific name or even the ester code. Six parabens preservatives mostly used (name; scientific name; coed ester/sel), for you to remember:

  • Butylparaben; paraoxybenzoate butyl or butyl 4-hydroxybenzoate; –
  • Isobutylparaben; paraoxybenzoate isobutyl or Isobutyl 4-hydroxybenzoate; –
  • Methylparaben, methyl paraoxybenzoate gold or Methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, E218 / E219
  • Ethylparaben; paraoxybenzoate gold ethyl or Ethyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, E214 / E215
  • Propylparaben; paraoxybenzoate propyl or propyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, E216 / E217
  • Isopropylparaben; paraoxybenzoate gold or isopropyl isopropyl 4-hydroxybenzoate; –

So ensure yourself to choose cosmetic without parabens, but of course this does not means there are not other substances like Methylchloroisothiazolinone, the Methyldibromo glutaronitrile or chlorhexidine digluconate, which are known allergens. Just read correctly the etiquette and try to read it carefully, some brands can write without added preservatives, but that does not mean that the initial formula does not contains preservatives.

Finally, be an aware consumer, we have the chance the have the information on our hand to make things better for us, our health and our soul. Be aware and do not ignore what you can learn.


Food And Drugs Administration http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/productandingredientsafety/selectedcosmeticingredients/ucm128042.htm

ConsoGlobe “Parabens, attention aux étiquettes !”, http://www.consoglobe.com/parabens-attention-aux-etiquettes-cg

One response to “What to be careful when buying cosmetics?

  1. Pingback: How to Green Your Life? | MissBlue Blog·

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