Parabens are something I only just became aware of around two months ago and until around the last two weeks I never really thought twice about them or let it bother me but I did a little bit of research into them and their effects and now I can see why so many of the Beauty Guru's I love from YouTube have been so concerned about their products being 'Paraben Free'. Parabens are essentially preservatives. They're used in both food and things like makeup, moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner etc.
Thousands of articles can be found all over the Internet discussing the use of Parabens in cosmetics and the dangers they can cause. To help explain their dangers a little it'll be a little easier for me to simply include this;
"They have been found in extremely low concentrations in breast cancer tumours (an average of 20 nanograms/g of tissue). Parabens have also displayed the ability to slightly mimic Oestrogen (a hormone known to play a role in the development of breast cancer). No effective direct links between parabens and cancer have been established, however. Another concern is that the oestrogen-mimic aspect of parabens may be a factor in the increasing prevalence of early puberty in girls."
(The research however was conducted on a very small sample size so obviously it wont be a very decent representative of the entire population). (Thanks A-Level Psychology for that one!)
Many cosmetics companies now display on their packaging a small Paraben free symbol now to allow consumers to see at a glance if it's 'safe' to use or not. I have to say I do tend to try and pay attention now to the ingredients in my cosmetics, especially on things I'd use every day.
Even the study which suggested that Parabens do cause breast cancer in some women and mimic Oestrogen has not actually proven it to be a solid fact that using cosmetics containing them causes breast cancer. Sometimes however once someone hears something like that they tend to become very vary about using products with things in that one study has suggested is dangerous. It's better to be safe than sorry though right? Especially with something as serious as breast cancer.
Products which don't contain the 'Paraben Free' logo still may not contain them but it's best to double check so look out for things like 'Methylparaben' or anything along those lines.
So there isn't a significant amount of evidence to safely say that they do cause any form of Cancer and I'm sure it'll be a while until a definite conclusion is reached. I think it's up to each individual person as to whether they use products with it in. Some people may even argue that products need them in to preserve them amongst other things. I'd love to know everyone Else's opinion on this matter so please do let me know!