Are Your Skincare Ingredients Doing More Harm Than Good?

Some scary-sounding ingredients aren't so bad, but others that sound good may not be (7 Photos)

Kristin Romey on Mar 10, 2010 at 7:03PM

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Are Your Skincare Ingredients Doing More Harm Than Good?

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Well Preserved?

Parabens are the most commonly used preservatives in cosmetics, but many products are now advertised as “paraben-free.” Why the concern? A 2004 study found traces of parabens in breast tumor tissue, suggesting a link between parabens and increased estrogen production. This raised fears that paraben exposure may be a contributing factor for breast cancer. Researchers have since pointed out flaws in the study, and the FDA has concluded that the tiny (0.01 to 0.03%) amount of parabens present in cosmetics is safe. “Unless a person is allergic to parabens, I don’t feel that strongly on whether a patient uses them or not,” says dermatologist Peggy Fuller, founder and director of Esthetics Center for Dermatology in Charlotte, N.C. (If you have a paraben allergy, however, you should avoid this class of preservatives.)

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