For Mom

A Closer Look At Parabens, Sulfates, And Silicones With P&G University

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with our friends over at P&G to learn about the concerns many of us have over the use of parabens, sulfates, and silicones in our every day household items. We were presented with a lesson in each of these additives by experts, Dr. Scott Heid and Dr. Jeni Thomas. While I did not know a whole lot about parabens, sulfates, and silicones to begin with, it was interesting and important to learn about the safety research findings with each of these. Hopefully what I have learned will ease some of your concerns.

Dr. Heid explained to us that parabens, a preservative, is an essential ingredient for product optimization. Many of the products we see that boast being “paraben-free,” in fact carry a higher total amount of preservatives. In addition, they are also less sustainable, and have more restricted effectiveness. An example that really freaked me out was about mold in mascara. As I am suffering through allergy season (torture, if you ask me), the idea of putting mold so close to my eyes makes me nauseous. When you’re unsure of the shelf life of a paraben-free product, and there’s more potential for allergens such as mold, it’s a turn-off. One of my favorite make-up lines is paraben-free, and I’m second-guessing whether I even want to use my six-month old mascara by them. Suddenly, paraben-free isn’t such a big deal to me.

The use of parabens has been tested in labs for many years, and has been found to not accumulate in the body, nor does it cause cancer or any harm. In fact, to hit a safety margin zone beyond the safe range that P&G has established, you would have to use 1,000 tubes of mascara per day or 250 jars of moisturizer each day. So it’s safe to say that the sustainability that we get from parabens in our products come in completely safe amounts. The same has been found for sulfates, which are also not linked to cancer. Although there have been myths circulating about sulfates, these claims have been debunked by the American Cancer Society. Silicones, derived from the element Silicon, have also been found to be completely safe, and give us wonderful benefits for our hair such as softness, heat protection, damage protection, moisture, shine, and smoothness. It has also been found that silicones do not interfere with hair treatments and has no effect on color.

If you would like to learn more about the research findings associated with these additives, P&G makes them readily available for your review at

Written By Samantha Ewers

Vera Sweeney, mom, blogger, social media influencer and New York resident, is the founder of She is considered one of the top female digital influencers in today’s social media space. Her lifestyle and parenting brand helps busy women stay on top of the latest trends in fashion, food, family and travel.

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