FOOD & STUFF
What they put in your food and in your makeup
It is common to find the claim ‘parabens-free' on a label these days. Such claims can be specifically found in some cosmetic products. The question, then, is: what are parabens and why has the claim that something is ‘parabens-free' become an important and differentiating factor? Is it because parabens are harmful for us?
Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as preservatives in pharmaceuticals, food products, and cosmetic and personal-hygiene products. Some parabens occur naturally in nature. Methylparaben is a pheromone (hormone) secreted by some insects. Parabens such as propylparaben and butylparaben are naturally found in some plants and insects.
All commercially used parabens are synthetically produced, although some are identical to those found in nature.