If you're on the hunt for natural, chemical-free pain relief, you're not alone.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that 1 in 5 Americans suffers from chronic pain. When ice packs and heating pads won't cut it, you may reach for over the counter or even prescription medications.
For those seeking a more holistic approach, topical creams for pain relief are a viable option. When choosing a pain relief cream, the most important thing to check is the ingredients.
You want paraben-free products to help ease your pain and protect your health.
What's so bad about products containing paraben?
Keep reading to learn why you need to avoid this ingredient at all costs!
What Is Paraben?
Before we can cover why you should avoid this substance, let's discuss what it is.
Parabens are commonly used preservatives found in many pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. They reduce bacteria production and help prolong a products' shelf-life -- but at what cost?
The use of parabens on the skin has been linked to a wide range of health complications including cancer and mental deterioration.
Another ingredient often used in conjunction with parabens is sulfate, which is to blame for negatively affecting the heart, lungs, and brain.
Reasons to Use Paraben-Free Products
There's been extensive research done on harmful preservatives in foods and what they do to our internal organs. Parabens are equally as harmful but the dangers are lesser-known.
1. Recent Studies Show the Hidden Dangers
Parabens have been used in beauty products for over 50 years so they must be safe, right? Wrong!
Advances in technology and recent studies are only now uncovering the hidden dangers of this popular cosmetic preservative.
Not only are parabens proving a health risk, but they're also easily absorbed into the skin, which means the minute you put a product on your face or body, you're at risk.
At risk for what, you ask?
2. Cancer and Hormone Imbalance
While there's no solid proof that paraben products cause cancer, studies were done by the FDA and EPA that link parabens to hormonal and developmental issues, as well as some female cancers.
Parabens mimic estrogen, the female hormone that controls things like breast development, widening of the hips, and your menstrual cycle. Too much estrogen can cause health complications including breast cancer.
Parabens attach themselves to estrogen receptors in some women, interfering with the body's natural production and regulation of the hormone. This interference may cause tumor growth and accelerate breast cell division.
Some breast cancer tumors have even tested positive for traces of parabens.
The use of paraben-free products is especially important in young girls and teens. Introducing paraben into your system at a young age can accelerate puberty.
It's not just women who are at risk for hormone imbalance or cancer after the use of paraben products. The urine of men suffering from testicular cancer and low sperm count have shown traces of parabens.
This research suggests that parabens might also negatively interfere with the body's testosterone production.
3. Skin Irritation
The last thing you want from a topical cream that's supposed to decrease pain or improve the appearance of your skin is irritation. But topical products containing parabens might do just that.
Skin irritation is most common in those with preexisting conditions like eczema or dermatitis. Parabens may aggravate and worsen these conditions.
Small children are also susceptible to rashes and other irritation when using soaps containing parabens or sulfates.
Users should also be aware of the potential for allergic reactions.
4. Free Radicals
Long-term use makes parabens even more dangerous. Anyone who has a strict skincare regime and uses the same product every day, for years, is at risk for paraben build-up.
This build-up can cause a spike in free radicals which cause damage to cells over time. It's difficult for your body to process, control, and expel free radicals.
Side effects of free radicals are alarming and include:
- Mental health issues
- Hormonal imbalances
- Huntington's Disease
- Parkinson's Disease
Free radicals damage and impair both cell membranes and DNA molecules.
5. Harmful to the Environment
Paraben products aren't just harmful to your body and health -- they're also damaging to the environment.
Most topical products are applied to the body and eventually washed off. This is especially true for facial and body cleansers.
Where do these products go once they're rinsed? Right down the drain and into the ecosystem. Parabens have been found in ground and surface water.
Even in small amounts, these chemicals build-up over time -- the same way they do in your body. Once these harmful substances enter the water system, they're being recycled back into your body.
Parabens are also harmful to aquatic life. Certain fish and other sea creatures have exhibited reproductive issues, a weakened immune system, and behavioral disorders as a result of paraben exposure.
Not only is aquatic life at risk but if you ingest contaminated fish, you may inadvertently be exposed to parabens.
6. Weakened Immune System
Your immune system defends you against bacteria, viruses, and other illnesses. Parabens have been linked to weakening the immune system, leaving you susceptible to a wide range of diseases and infections.
Not only can parabens put you at greater risk for illness but also, allergies. Parabens may irritate existing allergies or accelerate the development of new ones.
Invest in Your Health By Investing in Paraben-Free Products
Are you currently using a skincare product, topical cream, or cleanser that contains parabens? Sadly, the investment you're making in your health might actually be causing more harm than good.
Paraben-free products allow you to treat pain, improve the health of your skin, and practice cleanliness without fear of health complications.
At The Feel Good Lab, we pride ourselves in offering holistic, natural pain relief options.
Contact our professionals today for more information on how our paraben-free products can transform your life.
In the meantime, browse our blog for more information on living a pain-free, healthy life.