Chemical Found in over 99% of Personal Care Products

Do you ever worry about that giant list of chemicals at the back of your personal care/cosmetic products? Sometimes it seems like the chemical ingredients list just keeps getting longer and longer. However, the more you compare the lists on the back of products, the more you will find that there are similarities between the chemicals used. The one to look out for is p-hydroxybenzoic acid, otherwise called “paraben”!


The “paraben” ingredient in your products purpose is to act as a preservative because of its antimicrobial properties.  From a scientific standpoint, they exhibit more antimicrobial properties with increasing chemical chain length of the alkyl group. This is why can see the terms “methyl, ethyl, buytl, benzyl, isopropyl” etc. in front of the term “paraben”. In cosmetics, parabens are only permitted in concentrations up to 1%, and in food up to 0.1%.

The reason we should be concerned about parabens is because there is at least one paraben ingredient in approximately 90% of cosmetic and personal care products. When considering that in 1995 (17 years ago!!) parabens were used in 99% of all leave- on products and 77% of rince-off cosmetics, you can only imagine the quantities of parabens in our products today. Too much of anything is not good for the body, and when considering that limited long term studies have been done on humans describing the effects of parabens, it can be quite daunting.  Although methylparaben is not carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic, all parabens can be absorbed through the skin and migrate into the bloodstream.

Look for methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben, propylparaben in your products. Since so many products today have these ingredients, try to minimize your use. If possible, discard these products.

What’s interesting is that some lines of moisturizers (i.e. Aveeno), may have four products out of five that contain parabens and that fifth product doesn’t. So it is possible, you just got to read the back of the bottle.


In a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology parabens were found to be present in human breast tumors!!!Although it is not clear whether the parabens migrated into the tumors before or after they were formed, it does raise some serious concern about parabens. The scientists analyzed 20 human breast tumors and found the mean concentration of parabens in the tumors to be 20.6 ± 4.2 ng g-1 tissue.

Currently, The Food and Drug Administration is conducting its own research to ascertain the health implications (Endocrine Disruptor Knowledge Base, ). Nevertheless, parabens are quickly absorbed, metabolized, and excreted, and they appear to be nontoxic, based on acute, subchronic, and chronic studies in rodents (Food Chem. Toxicol.2005;43:985-1015). Comparison of individual parabens showed that methylparaben was present at the highest level and represents 62% of the total paraben recovered in the extractions.


(1) Rastogi SC, Schouten A, De Kruijf N, Weijland JW. 1995. Contents of methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, butyl- and benzylparaben in cosmetic products. Contact Dermat. 32: 28–30.

(2) Elder RL. 1984. Final report on the safety assessment of methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. J. Ame. Coll. Toxicol. 3: 147–209.

(3) Darbre PD, Aljarrah A, Miller, WR, Coldham NG, Sauer MJ, Pope G. 2004. Concentrations of Parabens inhuman Breast Tumours. J. Appl. Toxicol. 24, 5-13.

If you like eco-savy, please share it with the world, thank you.
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Email

10 thoughts on “Chemical Found in over 99% of Personal Care Products

  1. I wanted to compose you that tiny word to say thanks a lot yet again on your magnificent knowledge you have discussed above. It’s incredibly open-handed with people like you to deliver unreservedly what a number of people could possibly have distributed as an e book to get some money for their own end, mostly considering the fact that you could possibly have tried it in the event you decided. Those tactics as well served to be a great way to understand that some people have similar dream much like my very own to figure out great deal more with regard to this issue. I’m certain there are millions of more fun situations ahead for many who read through your website.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. It is people like you who are out there reading the website that continue to inspire us.

  2. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  3. I like the useful info you offer as part of your article content.I’ll bookmark your blogging site and take a look at again listed here usually.I am particularly guaranteed I will know lots of latest stuff ideal listed here! Fantastic luck to the subsequent!

  4. I much like the priceless details you offer in the articles or blog posts.I’ll bookmark your web site and check out once again the following commonly.I’m very absolutely sure I’ll discover an awful lot of latest stuff best suited here! Good luck for the upcoming!

  5. I such as the beneficial facts you give you in the reports.I will bookmark your blogging site and look at again the following on a regular basis.I am extremely sure I’ll gain knowledge of plenty of latest stuff proper the following! Fine luck for your following!

  6. I just want to mention I’m beginner to blogging and truly loved your website. Probably I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You surely have fantastic articles. Thank you for revealing your blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 3 + 14 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)