Definitions for parabens

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word parabens

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Parabens

    Methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. They have been approved by the FDA as antimicrobial agents for foods and pharmaceuticals. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 11th ed, p872)


  1. Paraben

    Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Chemically, they are a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, makeup, and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives. Their efficacy as preservatives, in combination with their low cost, the long history of their use, and the inefficacy of some natural alternatives like grapefruit seed extract, probably explains why parabens are so commonplace. No effective direct links between parabens and cancer have been established. However, there is concern that the estrogen-mimicking aspect of parabens may be a factor in the increasing prevalence of early puberty in girls.

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