Paraben is a term nowadays used by people who search for beauty and personal care products. Actually what are parabens? If you are interested to know the chemical terms, then remember that parabens are considered to be esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. Some commonly used parabens in cosmetic products include butylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben. For those who are interested to know the chemical terms of paraben, I will provide the details. Image courtesy: bellasugar.com
Molecular weight of methyl paraben: 152.15
Chemical name of methyl paraben: Methyl-4-hydroxybenzoate
Molecular weight of ethyl paraben: 166.18
Chemical name of ethyl paraben: Ethyl-4-hydroxybenzoate
Molecular weight of propyl paraben: 180.20
Chemical name of propyl paraben: Propyl-4-hydroxybenzoate
Molecular weight of butyl paraben: 194.23
Chemical name of butyl paraben: Butyl-4-hydroxybenzoate
In simple terms we can say that parabens are the widely used preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products, thereby used to extend the shelf life of products and to prevent the growth of bacteria or fungi in it. Preservatives, when added to personal care products, foods or pharmaceuticals, will reduce the spoilage caused by fungi or bacteria. Other than paraben, some examples of preservatives include boric acid, benzoic acid, formic acid, formaldehyde, glycolic acid, phenylethyl alcohol etc. People who use cosmetic products must beware of paraben as they have the capability of absorbing through the skin, blood and digestive system. Beware of the fact that parabens are seen in food additives, shaving gels, shampoos, toothpaste, makeup, moisturizers, body lotions, face creams, personal lubricants etc.
As we all know these are the products used by us daily, we should be very careful in selecting products for our daily purposes. You may be wondering why paraben is extensively used in beauty care prodcuts? What may be the properties of paraben that encourages a manufacture to use it? Paraben itself as proved the efficiency as a strong preservative. Moreever it is having a low price. After reading the positive sides of this substance, some of you may be in a doubt. Should we avoid products containing paraben? Yes, this is a fact you should remember before buying any products.
Are parabens bad to our health?
Before going into the details why we should avoid products containing paraben, remember an important point which states that majority of the parabens used as preservatives are not naturally occurring one, but at the same time they are man made substances. Researches conducted to prove whether parabens are safe or bad stated that they are dangerous substances connected with cancer. In fact parabens are capable of encouraging breast cancer cell growth. Bodycare products are used by majority of the people in the world. So before buying or using any bodycare products, you must be aware of the paraben preservative present in it.
Inorder to prevent the toxic effects of parabens in human beings, the cosmetic manufacturers should use effective alternatives so as to prevent the bacterial growth in personal care products. Another possibility by which they can prevent paraben from entering the human body is by selling products that have a shorter shelf life. At the same time people must use these personal care products before their expiration date. In order to protect your health, try to use paraben free personal care products in future.
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