What Are Parabens?
Parabens are a very common group of organically synthesized preservatives used in cosmetics as well as drugs and foods. As a group of multiple compounds, they include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, and butylparaben. Like most preservatives, they are antimicrobial, meaning they prevent the growth and reproduction of bacteria, mold, and fungi. This attribute allows parabens to keep products safe for repeated consumption. All daily use, personal care products must contain some form of preservation.
How Nu Skin Uses Parabens
Nu Skin uses parabens to maintain product freshness because of their proven safety record and low irritation profile—and at extremely low levels (usually between 0.1% to 0.8%). Nu Skin formulates its products within these guidelines for the beneficial qualities and safety that parabens provide.
FDA and CTFA Proclaim Parabens Safe for Cosmetic Use
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Cosmetic Toiletries and Fragrance Association (CTFA) have thoroughly researched the use of parabens in cosmetics. The FDA regulates product safety, and the CTFA provides specific ingredient safety through the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board (CIR). The CIR is an independent panel of renowned physicians and scientists that reviews ingredients used in cosmetics since 1976. Both organizations continue to review research on parabens and, as recently as 2004, proclaimed them safe and effective for use in cosmetic formulations.
Nu Skin's Commitment to Safety
Nu Skin actively monitors scientific research on all our ingredients, including parabens, to ensure our distributors can offer safe and efficacious products. The majority of paraben research for the past 50 years supports the safety of parabens in consumer use. However, misinformation circulated about recent paraben studies has caused undue concern that parabens may have weak estrogenic effects. Putting these study results into perspective is important as we determine whether or not parabens are safe for use in cosmetics. There are many other common substances, such as soy, that have more substantial estrogenic properties, but because these substances have been used culturally for centuries without harmful effects they do not raise concern. Additionally, the recent paraben studies were conducted with exaggerated levels of test material ingested or injected into animals rather than applied topically. The conclusion that parabens at extremely low levels in a topical application would produce a similar outcome as an exaggerated use test is without direct evidence and unproven. Since cosmetic products have very low levels of parabens, it is unscientific to assume they could be absorbed through the skin in any significant amount to create adverse effects. In fact, to date there are no scientific studies that show a causal link between topical products that contain paraben and detrimental effects. The CTFA asserted in a statement on April 17, 2003:
Suggestions that parabens have an estrogenic potential or affect the male reproductive system are not relevant to the cosmetic use of these ingredients. The level of parabens used in cosmetics is extremely low. (CTFA Response Statement, April 17, 2003; RSPT 03-12)
Nu Skin is committed to protecting product integrity and providing the best results for its customers. The long history of paraben use in cosmetics, backed by the continued, careful research of the cosmetic industry, FDA, and other qualified sources, reassures our pledge of "all of the good, none of the bad."