Parabens, Phthalates and Sulfates

PPS, three chemicals common in your Beauty, bath and body products. However, how safe are they? What should you know and avoid?


Parabens derive their name from their source as esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid and are preservatives used in many cosmetics. Parabens are known skin irritants and can cause contact dermatitis and Rosacea in many people.

They are used as preservatives in a large number of beauty and skin products. There isn’t and FDA exclusion for their use, but of late scientific studies, in particular one by the University of Reading in the UK, found instances of parabens in tumors. this doesnt mean that they caused them, but the studies are ongoing.

As a result, we would advise trying to stay away from products that contain parabens; the best way to tell if a product has parabens is to check ingredients and look out for words ending with “paraben”.


Phthalates are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers to control viscosity and emulsifying properties. As an endocrine disruptor, phthalates inhibit growth and rejuevenation.

The typical use of these chemicals are as plasticizers. They are the active ingredient that make plastics elastic. Their use in skin and beauty products is one of manipulating texture and feel of them.

They are known to cause reproduction issues in men because they are estrogen disruptors.

Not only do they cause infertility issues, but a study in the UK by the University of rochester connected them with high instances of obesity. The higher the volumes of phthalates in their urine, the higher the level of fat.


Sulfates are detergent based chemical cleaners that are very good at cleansing. They are also very good at drying out the skin and hair and stripping them of their natural defenses.

Sulfates are usually used in cleansers, shampoos and other frothy cleaning products and act as foaming agents.

Medical studies indicated that particular sufates, such as SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) are easily absorbed into key tissues and eyes, and what’s more, they stay for a very long time (high retention).

In their selves, SLS aren’t the primary worry, however, SLS can form nitrates, and nitrates can be turned carcinogenic which easily get absorbed into your body’s blood carrying vessel. Some of the common reported results of SLS are:

  • Eye Irritations
  • Skin Rashes
  • Hair Loss
  • Scalp Scurf
  • Allergies
  • Dry Skin
  • Itchy Skin

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