A Close Shave

A Close Shave
A Close Shave


Avoid personal care products that list parabens as ingredients. Common names for this class of chemicals include methyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, and ethyl paraben. Seek products labeled “paraben free.

Learn which cosmetics companies eschew or are phasing out harmful chemicals. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics encourages cosmetics companies whose products meet or exceed current European Union formulation standards to sign the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. To learn more about the compact and other cosmetics-related issues, visit the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Think Before You Pink websites.

Talk a good game. Raise awareness of the unregulated nature of cosmetics by sharing on Facebook and Twitter a link to the mock game show “Try to Look Pretty Without Poisoning Yourself!” produced by Environmental Defense.

In the first Household Exposure Study, Silent Spring Institute researchers found parabens in 90 percent of the homes they tested. The chemical also appeared in the urine samples of almost all the homeowners tested.

Parabens are often used as preservatives in cosmetics and such personal care products as deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, hair styling gels, shaving gels, and lotions. The chemicals, which have been identified as endocrine disrupting compounds, have been found in urine and in breast tissue.

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