What Are They?
Parabens are chemical compounds. They that are used in many skin care products, cosmetics, shampoos, shower gels, deodorants and moisturizers. They are also found in foods as an additive adding colour and flavour. Whilst they are used extensively many people are unaware that they are consuming them and using products which contain them. Because they are so widespread it is often difficult to find products that are paraben free.
Made up of the chemical compound para-hydroxybenzoic acid, there are a number of names that come under this umbrella:
- Butyl, propyl and ethyl parabens
They act as preservatives helping prevent the spread of bacteria and fungus. The compound they are copied from is found naturally in some plants who produce them to help fight against bacteria. Examples include blueberries and prunes. The compounds used by companies in the manufacturing process are synthetically produced to ensure they remain stable and do the job they were designed for.
Many of these companies have dismissed recent studies questioning their safety, claiming their use is insignificant and arguing that the health risk factor is minimal.
- Dr H Young