Parabens and Laurel Sulfates Are parabens and phthalates harmful in makeup and lotions? By Jill U. Adams September 1, 2014 Should you worry about the chemicals in your makeup, lotion, shaving cream, soap and shampoo? The answer is maybe…. Why maybe? Because some critics suspect that chemicals such as phthalates and parabens can interfere with the body’s hormones, most notably reproductive hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. The possible health risks could include chronic diseases, cancers and a host of developmental disorders and fertility problems. Here’s what’s certain: Phthalates and parabens are not inert substances: They have biological activity. In animal studies, for instance, some phthalates act to counter male hormones and disrupt development of male sex organs. Both phthalates and parabens act on estrogen pathways, which in humans have been associated with such varied effects as decreased sperm count, endometriosis and insulin resistance. Here’s what’s not certain: the level of chemical…Read More.