Chemistry Properties :
Parabens are esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, from which the name is derived. Common parabens include methylparaben (E number E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216) and butylparaben. Less common parabens include isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben and their sodium salts. The general chemical structure of a paraben is shown at top right, where R symbolizes an alkyl group such as methyl, ethyl, propyl or butyl.
Characteristics and Application :
Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bacteriocidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives.
Parabens are found in a variety of everyday products - cosmetics, deodorant, face cream, shampoo and toothpaste. Studies have found that the biggest risk from parabens seems to be from the use of products that require a prolonged exposure to skin, such as skin creams and facial lotions. The longer that the parabens are on the skin, the more opportunity there is for parabens to be absorbed. When used in skin care products, parabens are absorbed directly into the blood stream rather than through the gastrointestinal tract.
Parabens can be used in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, cleansing gels, personal lubricants, topical pharmaceuticals and toothpaste.
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