Parabens are the chemical compounds used in cosmetics as preservatives. They are the esters of para benzoic acid possessing wide spectrum antimicrobial activity although most effective against yeast and moulds. In spite of concerns over them causing contact dermatitis their use as preservatives became ubiquitous in cosmetic and dermatological products.
Actual concerns over their usage started after study conducted in 2004 stated that Parabens mimic estrogen activity and also its findings in malignant breast cancer tissues. Nevertheless several exhaustive research conducted there after could not attribute Parabens as carcinogens. There by ruling out the possibility for imposing a ban on Paraben usage.
Since the past decade consumer demand for paraben free cosmetics is on rise. And with the latest EU Cosmetics Regulations coming under force it is sure to have a great boost to paraben free cosmetics. The latest regulation limits the maximum concentration of Propylparaben and Butylparaben, from currently allowed limit of 0.4% when used individually and 0.8% when mixed with other esters, to 0.14%, when used individually or together.