For the past 3 or so years I have really focussed on trying to use paraben free makeup and skincare products. Why?
Fist of all what is a paraben?
Parabens are a group of chemical preservatives that serve to extend the shelf life of a variety of cosmetic products, from body lotions and shampoos to make up and deodorants. Parabens are cheap to manufacture and have anti fungal and antibacterial properties as well.
Parabens can be found in many products in your bathroom or personal care bag and the ingredients of either butylparaben, methylparaben or propylparaben, probably even in more than one.
Parabens are just one type of Xenoestrogens (Xeno meaning foreign or from outside of the body).
So what’s the problem with Parabens then?
To keep things simple, Parabens have a chemical structure that is very similar to the chemical structure of oestrogens, so much so that our bodies can be fooled into thinking that Parabens are oestrogens. Oestrogen receptor sites (found in cells) can mistakenly receive a Paraben molecule, rather than an oestrogen molecule, and therein lies the problem.
In terms of fat gain the body sees these types of chemicals as toxins, which the body wants to eliminate. The liver will try its best to detoxify as many chemicals as it can, but has a tough job in today’s polluted environment.
Unfortunately, fat cells are used to store toxins, and the greater your toxic load, the more fat cells you will have.
Remember also, Parabens mimic the effects of oestrogen. If you don’t already know, oestrogen is a fat storage hormone, meaning the potential to store body fat increases for that reason as well, when you use Paraben filled products.
Oestrogen is very important for the human body for many reasons. But we know that females naturally store more body fat on their hips and thighs due to oestrogen. An overproduction of oestrogen, or increase of it due to Xenoestrogen exposure such as Parabens, can cause many different side effects, unfortunately an increase in body fat being one.
If you are trying to lose body fat, and it isn’t coming off these areas as you would expect, it’s worth considering the effects Parabens may be having on your body composition, and it would be recommended to exchange to Paraben-free products.