(In some of NuCel Lab's products)

This is such a difficult subject as there is so much misinformation regarding parabens, usually proported by those who are manufacturing "paraben free" products. ( It should be noted that manufacturers of such products typically make disclaimers regarding the shelf life and sometimes even the safety of these products.)

Parabens are a group of broad spectrum preservatives (meaning they kill a variety of microbes) used to prevent the growth of harmful micro-organisms.
Parabens are derived from benzoic acids, which is a chemical commonly found in plants. They have been used as preservatives for over 50 years and have been thoroughly researched and deemed safe for use in cosmetic/skin care products. In fact, they are well tolerated by almost everyone.

Products containing any type of water need some type of preservative as water is the basis for all life - including bacteria, fungi, and mold. Without preservatives the Replenishing Cream or any otherr products might be better products but they would have no shelf life. By the time it got from us to a distributor and then to the customer you would have a jar of some pretty nasty, not to mention potentially dangerous, skin cream.

Other alternative preservatives that are touted as "natural" are just not as effective and sometimes not even natural. For example, grapefruit seed extract (which we use in some products) is sometimes promoted as an all natural preservative, but it isn't. It does not come from grapefruit juice and it's not a grapefruit essential oil. Chemical manufacturers take the leftover grapefruit pulp and in an intensive multi-step chemical process change the natural compounds into chemical compounds. A handmade grapefruit seed extract that was not tainted with other chemicals showed zero preservative qualities. It just sounds natural so consumers are willing to believe it is. (By the same token you could call parabens "natural" because they originate from a plant source.)

As far as other more natural preservatives, such as potassium sorbate or vitamins A, C, & E (which we also use at times), they are good for much shorter periods of time and only against certain types of contaminates. Potassium sorbate is effective against mold and yeast, but it is not effective against bacterias. Vitamins A, B, & E can extend the life of products by preventing oxidation & slowing the growth of bacteria, but they are not effective broad-spectrum preservatives and cannot replace other preservatives by themselves. ( Orange juice is loaded with all three, but you'd be hesitant to drink a glass that had been left out for a couple of months.) Right now there are no effective all natural preservatives that will keep our products safe for use.

That explains why we use parabens, but the gist of the article sent was that parabens should be included as a type of environmental xenoestrogen that can be carcinogenic. I am aware that some time ago there were parabens found in 4 samples of cancerous breast tissue. However, there has never been any follow studies to see if there are parabens in healthy tissue and never a study proving the parabens had anything to do with the development of those cancerous cells.

There are also different types of parabens and different types of estrogens. Here is some information I found on the studies of parabens & estrogens signals within the human body:

"New Studies on the Human Estrogen Receptor: Okubo published data showing that Parabens may have estrogen receptor (ER) dependent estrogenic activities, but that these effects may or may not be signaled to cell in the same way 17-beta-estradiol signals cells. Competetitive binding to human ER alpha and Ebbets revealed that the Parabens with longer side chains (higher molecular weight) showed greater affinity for estrogen receptors. This data corroborates earlier studies showing that small parabens like methyl-, ethyl-, and propyl- parabens probably have no estrogenic effects because of poor affinity for the estrogen receptor. In addition, it is highly unlikely any of these parabens would ever reach the receptor because of rapid enzymatic metabolism of parabens in tissues and blood."

"Another new study was performed specifically to investigate whether estrogenic activity of parabens can be detected in estrogen-sensetive human cells. They could not document any activity. They promised future work would address the extent to which parabens can accumulate in sensetive tissues. When injecting massive doses directly inside the body, certain parabens illicit estrogenic effects in animal models. Topically applied parabens are not likely to ever accumulate in sensetive tissues because they are rapidly metabolized in the dermal layers. If a few molecules did pass into the blood stream these would assuredly be metabolized before any accumulation could occur in sensetive tissues."

I guess in a nutshell we use parabens as preservatives because they are effective against all types of contaminants. Other preservatives touted as being "natural" either are no more natural than parabens or they only protect against particular contaminants but not all. We use the smaller parabens (propyl & methyl) that have not been shown to cause any estrogenic effects in the body. Also, we use a very small amount (less than 1/2 of 1%) in the Replenishing cream.

There are a lot of environmental pollutants that are wreaking havoc with our bodies - not to mention food injected with hormones. We carry Nucel Wild Yam Cream and this product contains no hormones ("bio-identical") or otherwise. It just provides the body with phytonutrients that help the body to make it's own progesterone safely and naturally.