Because of an increase in awareness of possibly cancer-causing ingredients in cosmetics products, some manufacturers have begun producing cosmetics that are paraben-free. As parabens are preservatives, cosmetics without parabens have a shorter shelf-life.
When you purchase paraben-free makeup (or shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, facial wash, mouth wash…), you can get your money’s worth by using these products to the last drop—and quickly! Most paraben-free products have a shelf-life of six months to a year.
Think it’s a drawback? Well, if it’s your piece of mind at stake, then buying a product with an expiry date is not much of a disadvantage. Besides, as you will have to use them every day, you might finish them well before the sixth month mark anyway!
What’s so important about using paraben-free cosmetics? The USFDA says, “[We are] aware that estrogenic activity in the body is associated with certain forms of breast cancer. Although parabens can act similarly to estrogen, they have been shown to have much less estrogenic activity than the body’s naturally occurring estrogen.”
So, while there is no proven link to cancer, the USFDA will make no restrictions. Think about this: are you willing to use products that have ingredients that might cause cancer but are not yet proven to do so? Sometimes, the best bet is simply to avoid those products whose safety is not completely assured.
There’s something to be said about consumer power: it is true that the products consumers continually patronize are the ones manufacturers will deem worth reproducing. And this fact can help discerning buyers influence cosmetics giants into creating more preservative- and chemical-free products. After all, when they realize that consumers are heightening their standards on the cosmetics they buy, manufacturers will start making more products that are paraben-free.