Parabens – A Preservative Used in Cosmetics

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Paraben is a chemical used in cosmetics to prevent mold or microbial growth. The use of parabens protects the consumer who uses the product and maintains the product's integrity. They can be obtained in products such as makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and shaving products. They are also used in food and drugs. It is the most extensively used preservative used in the cosmetic industry. They are popular because they are inexpensive, colorless, odorless and nontoxic.

The proven and most studied preservatives are the paraben family. Parabens were first introduced in the 1930's. Parabens have been used safely and effectively for years. This includes propyl paraben, methyl paraben, and butyl paraben, benzyl paraben and ethyl paraben. There are various clinic studies that verify the safety of the use of parabens. The US Environmental Protection Agency gave parabens the GRAS status, Generally Recognized as Safe, in 1995.You can also visit here to get non toxic products for your tweens.

Also, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review reviewed the safety of parabens and concluded that parabens were safe for use in cosmetic levels up to 0.4% and combined parabens up to 0.8%. The FDA has declared that there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about using cosmetics containing parabens. Overall, clinical studies have shown parabens to be non-toxic and safe for use in cosmetics (Food & Chemical Toxicology(2005),43(7),985-1015).

Normally more than one type of paraben is used in a product for preservation. Sometimes they are used concurrently with other preservatives to protect against a large range of microorganisms. Only a small amount of the preservative is needed, about 0.25% in cosmetics. Methyl and ethyl parabens are the most frequently used parabens and the most commonly used ingredient in a cosmetic preparation, other than water.