Links from Breast Cancer, Other Cancers, to Parabens in Cosmetics

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Changing from lotions to natural oils is an easy and inexpensive way to begin reducing toxin levels.

Most lotions, as well as many other cosmetics, contain harmful toxic substances called parabens. Parabens have been linked to various cancers as well as a wide variety of women’s health problems due to the hormone imbalances they cause. Dr. Elizabeth Smith, M.D., says,

Recently, Professor Sumpter in the U.K. discovered that Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, and Butyl Paraben are estrogen mimics and stimulate the estrogen receptor. His research was so disturbing that the European Union inquired of the European Cosmetics and Toiletry Association whether these common preservatives would increase the rate of breast cancer. The vast majority of hand lotions and gels contain this preservative. The parabens seem to be associated with cramping and worsening of endometriosis. Frequently cutting out all parabens makes menstrual cramping disappear. (1)

From my studies, countless people have experienced reduction or healing of various ailments and diseases by the elimination of such toxin intake. Here is a more detailed quote of a study relating parabens to cancer:

Early this year [2004] the media reported that English researchers identified parabens in samples of breast tumors. Parabens are widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in thousands of cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceutical products, and food. There are six commonly used forms (Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, p-Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, n-Butylparaben and Benzylparaben) and it is estimated that they are used in at least 13,200 cosmetics products. According to the lead researcher of the recent study, Philippa Darbre, an oncology expert at the university of Reading, in Edinburgh, the chemical form of the parabens found in 18 of the 20 tumors tested indicated that they originated from something applied to the skin, the most likely candidates being deodorants, antiperspirants, creams, or body sprays.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for nearly one of every three cancers diagnosed in U.S. women. For 2003, it is estimated that 211,300 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in women with an additional 55,700 cases of in situ breast cancer. (2)

Contrary to what used to be popular knowledge, it is no longer believed that the main source of our toxin intake is through ingestion, or what we eat.

Yes, ingestion has a definite impact, but toxin absorption through the skin, steam from shower water (We’ll discuss that in a later post.), or vapors from pesticides is at a much higher level than the absorption of toxins via our foods. Here are a few quotes from one study by 3 toxicologists at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering:

A study was conducted by three toxicologists at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering (MDEQE), into the problems of absorption of toxins through the skin. All human skin will readily transport toxic chemicals and, under certain conditions, extremely easily. . Based on the skin absorption rates derived in the study, the Boston researchers calculated doses to adults and children swimming or bathing in contaminated water and compared these to doses resulting from ingestion at similarly low levels. Absorption by the skin was almost always greater than ingestion, contributing from 29 to 91 percent of the chemicals later excreted, depending on the individual. The average was 64 percent. (3)

Thus, toxin absorption rate ingestion was low compared to that of skin absorption.


One of the easiest changes to make to cut back on toxin absorption is using natural oils instead of lotions with parabens.

My doctor told me that lotions are basically whipped petroleum products and these are safe alternatives:

  • Sweet Almond
  • Avocado
  • Walnut
  • Corn
  • Castor Oil

The food oils can be found in either the baking aisle or salad dressing aisle of your grocer, usually wherever the olive oil is. I have tried the almond and found it much less expensive than what are advertised as “quality lotions.” It didn’t appear to have any odor and was very thin. I use this more in the summer. As my skin is exceptionally dry, the rest of the year I use castor oil. Castor oil is a laxative when taken internally, but has been found to have a wide variety of healing characteristics when used topically and will not have any laxative effects. It is very thick. It is a good practice to have a dark towel that won’t stain to wipe off the excess.

Though much more effort is involved to eliminate all cosmetics with parabens from your environment, there are organizations set up to help you.

You can use the search bar on this site to find the toxicity level of your cosmetics if they are already in their database. If not, there is another search in the left column which you can use for searching the toxicity level of suspicious ingredients. One caution, other than the main search, the site is a little difficult to navigate.

Cosmetics Database for Toxicity Levels

If you are a continual lotion user, I urge you to consider changing immediately to safe natural oil alternatives. Again, our environments have many toxins, but every easy-to-make change is worth the effort to reduce diseases and bring healing to your body. In future posts, we’ll discuss 2 other easy changes to make: under-the-sink drinking water filters and shower head filters.

(1) Cyst
(2) Organic Consumer Organization
(3) Study Results provided by

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One Response to “Links from Breast Cancer, Other Cancers, to Parabens in Cosmetics”

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