Posts tagged preservative

Word of the Day – Propylparaben

Propylparaben, the propyl ester of p-hydroxybenzoic acid, occurs as a natural substance found in many plants and some insects, although it is manufactured synthetically for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foods. It is a preservative typically found in many water-based cosmetics, such as creams, lotions, shampoos and bath products.

Other names
propyl paraben;
propyl p-hydroxybenzoate;
propyl parahydroxybenzoate;
nipasol;
E number E216

Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. 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 and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives.

Their efficacy as preservatives, in combination with their low cost, their long history of safe use and the inefficacy of natural alternatives like grapefruit seed extract (GSE), probably explains why parabens are so commonplace. They are becoming increasingly controversial, however, and some organizations which adhere to the precautionary principle object to their everyday use.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/

Cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and foods can all spoil if they do not contain a preservative. Consequently, propylparaben has become the preservative of choice, especially for cosmetics that are water-based – like moisturizers, shampoos, shower cleansers, conditioners, and sunscreens. It is even used in lipsticks, foundations, mascaras, and eye shadows – sometimes at levels approaching 25%. On its own, there are recommendations for how much propylparaben should be found in a particular product.

The problem arises when a product contains multiple parabens – such as propylparaben and methylparaben – then, there are not any recommendations for an individual user.

In the pharmaceutical industry, propylparaben is a common preservative for certain drugs. As a result, it is administered to humans in several ways: injections, orally, or through suppositories. However, it is almost always in concentrations of less than 1%.

The dangers of propylparaben are yet to be specifically identified. However, studies have been conducted that have created fear in some consumers. For example, a group of British researchers tested breast lump tissue samples that were taken from women who had cancerous breast tumors. The researchers found traces of parabens in the lumps of all 20 women. This has caused some people to wonder whether the parabens caused the cancer.

Other examples that cause concern include a September 2008 study of 20 girls between the ages of 14 and 19. The girls used multiple cosmetics products every day – from moisturizers to deodorants to make-up. In that study, propylparaben was found in every girl. The fear is that parabens mimic estrogen in the body and thereby increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Yet, there is no evidence that parabens cause cancer and further research must be conducted.

Since there is increased awareness and concern, some cosmetics manufacturers, specifically those that are organic in nature, are looking for ways to prevent their products from spoiling or for inhibiting microbial growth.

Shorter shelf lives and new formulas are all being explored by some manufacturers, as well. Until more research is conducted, the safest bet is to limit the amount of parabens that is absorbed into the body.

source: http://www.wisegeek.com

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Word of the Day – Methylparaben

Methylparaben is an anti-irritant agent and water-soluble anti-microbial. It is an anti-fungal and very commonly used as a preservative for cosmetics, drugs and food items.

It functions as a preservative as well as a bacteriostatic agent. Methylparaben is extracted from the benzoic acid that is derived from benzoin tree gum. It is considered both to be a phenol as well as an ester. A lot of times, methylparaben is used in skincare and beauty projects for rejuvenation purposes.

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    Function

  1. Methylparaben is often used as an anti-fungal agent in foods. It operates to protect food items from Drosophila, which are often referred to as fruit flies or vinegar flies. Methylparaben functions to slow down the growth of fruit flies during both the larval and pupal periods.

    Considerations

  2. Methylparaben is considered to be a safe substance. It is easily absorbed through both the skin as well as through the gastrointestinal tract. It quickly is excreted and eliminated without any building up inside of the body. It is non-toxic by parenteral and oral consumption. It works well with sensitive skin types and is gentle and non-irritating.

    Warning

  3. Even though methylparaben is a safe substance, there have been incidences of allergic reactions to it reported. Because of this, people with allergies to methylparaben should try to avoid any food items, cleansers or any other type of product that might contain methylparaben.

    Identification

  4. So technically speaking, what is methylparaben? It is a chemical and its full name is methyl p-hydroxybenzoate. It is created by p-hydroxybenzoic acid’s methanol esterification while sulfuric acid is present. Methylparaben is distilled after esterification (the chemical process for producing esters).

source:  http://www.ehow.com

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