At the most recent Dallas Esthetic Show, I sought out my idol (and hopefully soon to be mentor), Dr. Pugliese. He is renown in the industry as a leader in skin care ingredient research and testing. Dr. Pugliese has also written one of my favorite books “Physiology of the Skin.” As a fellow scientist I appreciate his in depth knowledge and the continual research that he does.
During a classroom session, my new best friend, Dr. Pugliese (he may not be aware of this fact) and I were chatting about parabens, and all of a sudden this quiet, reserved man took on a whole different tone and voice. Dr. Pugliese, in no other words, explained that parabens are not harmful to the skin and that people are blindly blaming parabens without probable cause. I was absolutely astonished by this. As someone who eats organic, uses sulfate free products, and overall tries to be healthy, I have been under the impression for the past 5 years or so that parabens are bad. I had understood that parabens are wax preservatives that preserve the body and skin, like embalming fluid…yuck! However, as Dr. Pugliese explained, these waxes are widely regarded as safe and in fact; most foods contain these products in much higher content than any of our cosmetics. Parabens are only needed to be used at the .1% to effectively work as a preservative and most fruits contain over 100 times more of this amount than the cosmetics, yet there is little concern or any evidence to show that there are negative repercussions from using/ingesting this compound.
As a scientist, I appreciate looking at both sides of an argument, then making a decision. Personally, I haven’t quite decided how I feel about parabens, but I am now more open to research supporting the use of parabens. This definitely won’t be the last we hear about these molecules!