Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Parahydroxybenzoate… these terms probably don’t mean much to you at first glance, but you may have heard of their other name: Parabens.
Parabens have been a major topic of discussion within the health and beauty communities lately, and are getting increasing media buzz due to their widespread use and potentially harmful effects.
The jury is still out on whether or not parabens are actually dangerous, but we want to make sure you know that we do not use them in any Clarisonic products. We also want to share our insights on how to identify these chemicals and give you the tools to decide for yourself whether or not you want to avoid them.
What are parabens?
Parabens are a group of chemical compounds commonly used as synthetic preservatives designed to prevent the growth of microbes in food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products. They are widely available and cheap to produce, so companies all over the world use them to extend the shelf life of their products.
Causes for concern
Parabens can be absorbed through the skin, blood and digestive system, and can disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking the hormone estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone associated with breast cancer, so some scientists worry that parabens increase the risk of certain cancers and reproductive health concerns.
While certain studies have found that the amount of parabens absorbed by the skin is very low and can be metabolized by skin cells without producing estrogenic activity, other studies revealed a correlation between parabens and incidence of breast cancer. Dr. Philippa Darbre, who led a 2004 study on parabens at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Reading, found that 18 out of the 20 tested breast tumor samples contained parabens, indicating that the chemicals stay intact within the breast tissue instead of leaving the body.
Further testing continues, but as a result of this study, experts all over the world are recommending limits on paraben levels in cosmetic products. Currently, the permitted paraben concentration in food is up to .01% in food, and 1% in cosmetics.
What to look for on product labels
Parabens can be found in everyday items like shampoo, moisturizer, shaving gel, topical pharmaceuticals, and even toothpaste, so it can be difficult to avoid them altogether. The items listed below are all parabens, so check your product labels for these terms:
- Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
- Parahydroxybenzoic acid
It’s important to know your body, what goes into it and on it, and how that affects your health. Keep an eye on the ingredients in the cosmetic products you use, and do your research before trying a new product. We will continue to update this post as we learn more about parabens, and would love to hear your thoughts on the debate. Do you think there is cause for concern?
One of the first things many of us do every morning is cleanse, powder, and paint our faces. The cleansing part makes perfect sense, but what about the makeup? Why wear it?
It’s a question we don’t honestly ask ourselves very often, and the answer is a little different for everyone. Some wear it to cover blemishes and hide the parts of their appearance they don’t like, some use it to feel more confident and put-together, and others just love the creative twist it ads to their style. Many women also think makeup makes them look more competent, and survey data from the New York Times seems to support that idea. We shared the Times article with our fans on Facebook and responses ranged from the opinion that “less is more,” to the idea that it makes you “look more polished and more confident.”
We’re all about natural beauty here at Clarisonic, so we tend to like wearing only enough makeup to enhance the features that are already there. Makeup can be fun and help you stand out, but it’s also important to know and be comfortable in your own skin, and realize that you are a beautiful individual with or without it.
Last May, two middle school girls from Phoenix, Arizona named Gabby Klein and Michaela Good issued a challenge called “Only You,” encouraging girls to show off their natural appearance for a day and go without any make-up. They were frustrated by the unattainable beauty standards set by Hollywood, the media, and photoshop-loving women’s magazines, and decided to try and encourage girls everywhere to embrace their own skin. So far they’ve received national news coverage and support from women and girls all over the country. In North Carolina, a UNC-Charlotte educator named Rosie Molinary is also encouraging her students to try going a day without makeup. “Our skin is neither perfect nor bad,” she says, “and showing it in its natural form can be refreshing.”
We couldn’t agree more, and we love the idea that more women are going without makeup or aiming for a simple, natural look. It’s all about letting your inner—and outer—glow shine through. The more you take care of your skin and let it breathe, the better you’ll feel about showing it to the world.
What are your thoughts? Could you live without makeup?
You might have noticed the increasing number of options for Greek yogurt in grocery store; and there’s a reason for it: People are discovering the added benefits of this particular style of yogurt. Greek yogurt is similar to regular yogurt in that they are both high in calcium and are made by fermenting milk with live bacteria cultures. However, Greek yogurt is strained to remove liquid whey which also results in removing the lactose. The result is a thicker, more protein-rich yogurt with less sugar.
Making the switch from regular, fruit-flavored yogurt to a plain Greek yogurt might be a little difficult. The yogurt can have a little more tang and to get yourself accustomed to it, you may need to mix it with fruit, honey or nuts. This style of yogurt is also great paired with a curry or lamb dish as a tzatziki dip and with its thicker consistency, could be a great base for a dessert.
With more protein, less sugar and more versatility, switching to Greek yogurt could be a healthy move this year.
Almost fifty percent of people who work desk jobs claim that they have gained weight at their current jobs. If you’re stuck at your desk for a good part of the day chances are it’s starting to take a toll on your waist and your productivity.
Women’s Health brings us eight sneaky ways to burn calories while on the job. With a few easy adjustments you can be on your way to feeling better and doing better while at work.
- Stand Up – ask your office manager if they can invest in an adjustable-height work station so you can stand and work for a portion of your day. This can help you burn calories and improved your overall posture.
- Headset = hands free – if you spend a lot of time on the phone invest in a headset and walk around while you take your calls. A pedometer is an easy way to track the steps as you move.
- Snack Time – this isn’t just for pre-school anymore. Schedule snack times into your calendar so you avoid mindless eating. Step away from your work when you snack and take an extra moment to enjoy your food and be aware of what you are eating.
- Stash away emergency provisions – if you have crackers, cookies and cakes at your work stations for emergency situations make sure they are hidden out of eye sight. If you have to have food on your desk keep fruit and health snacks in your line of vision.
- Green means go – Green tea is full of antioxidants that help to stimulate the body to burn more calories and decrease fat. If you can, skip the coffee in the morning and opt for green tea.
- Out of sight, out of mind – Candies stored in transparent dishes are more likely to be eaten then those in opaque dishes. If candy is a must switch to hard candies, they are lower in calories and they last longer.
- So fresh and so clean – Keep an air freshener at your desk. Those with a sweet scent like peppermint, vanilla or banana can help curb cravings and appetite.
- Set the stakes – make weight-loss/healthy living a competition in your office. Split into teams and require a cash fee to enter. The winner walks away with the cash prize.
Get the most out of your eight hour days. Try a few of these quick tips and you’re waistline will thank you for it! Do you have other work-day weight loss tips? Share with us!
To keep up with the craziness of balancing our everyday lives, we tend to multitask. According to Women’s Health multitasking may not always be good for our brain. We might actually get more done by doing less.
Here are some quick tips to help you stop multitasking and start taking care of yourself:
- Savor Your Senses – take a moment to focus on a single sense like breath, taste or vision. Shut down the rest of your senses and take a moment to savor the experience.
- Do the “Tree” – Fine-tune your focus with yoga or a similar activity that requires your total concentration. In particular, the tree pose requires you to be mentally and physically in tune
- Embrace the Silence – Channel the inner child in you and take a time-out. Meditation is a great way to connect but if it isn’t for you just try to avoid distractions for a while.
- Consider Your Actions – Give up multitasking all together – challenge yourself for one month.
- Keep Careful Track – Multitasking at work can make it difficult to switch gears between projects or meetings during the day; your brain can’t always keep up with you.
As we transition into fall and the seasons change we challenge you to take a moment and reconnect with your mind and body. This fall it’s all about rejuvenation, and giving up multitasking is a great way to reconnect with what’s important – your authentic self.
Do you think you could give up multitasking for a month? We want to hear your thoughts!