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.

Recent developments:

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.