Consumer Voice - - Contents -

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.

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