External Article – How Teens Could Be at Risk From Cosmetics Use

Teens Could Be at Risk From Some Cosmetics

This is an article from Time about the possible dangers of parabens, pthalates, triclosan and oxybenzone found in a new study (link)  by the university of California.

As someone with a scientific and research background, I urge my readers to take articles like this (though this one is based on a scientific study) with a grain of salt and do their own research from accurate and reliable sources.  A little bit of knowledge goes a long way.

For example, parabens are generally regarded as safe (some more than others) and they keep bacteria and fungi out of our cosmetics, which could cause a lot more damage than parabens themself. Many companies use “no parabens” as a kind of marketing ploy – trying to promote a seemingly more natural product. However, the possible link to cancer and other diseases should be explored. You can read more about the safety of parabens from the FDAInto the Gloss and breastcancerfund.org.

I have seen quite a lot of products advertising “no parabens” and “no pthalates.” Since the article itself doesn’t explain what they are, I’ll give a brief description of each.

Parabens are a class of preservatives used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Pthalates are a group of substances that make plastics more flexible and some are used as solvents as well. Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Oxybenzone is a UV absorber used in sunscreens. Each of these has their own benefits and risks and I suggest you do research on them if they are things that concern or interest you.

The Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are two websites mentioned in this article to find further information on cosmetic ingredients. I linked the above substances with their respective page on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, however, there a number of different parabens and pthalates so I couldn’t link them to any specific page.

I personally suggest reading articles from Beautiful with Brains. Gio has many articles explaining about substances in cosmetic products. She has a recent article about paraben alternatives, which is a very interesting and informative article indeed.


The following is a brief overview by myself. I tried to highlight the most important parts of the article. Please read the article itself and the linked study if you are interested.

Parabens, Pthalates, Oxybenzone, and Triclosan are quoted as potential hormone disrupters that could block, mimic or interfere with hormones in the body. Hormone disrupters are tied to tumor growth and proliferation. Early research suggests that these may raise the risk of cancer, speed the onset of menopause and other health issues. Researches also suspect it could lead to lowered sperm quality in males.

The focus group was teenage girls, with the article stating that this age group tends to use more personal care products than adults. These teen girls were found to have a large and apparently significant drop (25-45%) in these chemicals in their bodies after just 3 days.

Overall there is no conclusive evidence of the ill health effects from these substances, but there is still much more to be learned. Researchers still do not know the long term effects of these substances.

I hope you found this post and article interesting and informative.

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