Parabens in cosmetics

All cosmetics are exposed to microorganisms and factors that reduce their activity. Preservatives are used to increase their shelf life and usefulness. One of the most popular preservatives is parabens. Read the article and learn more about them.

Czym są parabeny?

Parabens are very common preservatives in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food. In cosmetics, they are used in skin care products, shampoos, deodorants. They are organic compounds, esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. They are odorless, unscented and do not change the structure of the cosmetic. In cosmetics, they are used as agents to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. They are added to the recipe to extend the expiration date.

Parabens – functions

Without preservatives, all water-based cosmetics would have a very short shelf life. In addition, microbial growth can reduce the activity of cosmetics. Parabens are preservatives with a wide range of uses. They show action:

  • against fungi – inhibit the growth of fungi and molds by denaturing proteins or inactivating enzymes;
  • against bacteria – have affinity for both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Their effectiveness mainly depends on the concentration in the cosmetic. The formulation of the cosmetic is also of great importance here. They are most often found in emulsion products. They are used in salt form, which increases their solubility. Parabens and preservatives show more activity in groups, so it is common to use a combination of several compounds or combine them with other types of preservatives.

Are preservatives in cosmetics necessary

Preservatives in cosmetics are essential. They are designed to protect the cosmetic product, maintain the safety of its use and protect against the growth of microorganisms.

Prevention of microbial growth

Water-based cosmetics provide the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to grow. Preservatives protect against infection for a long time.

Stability of the formula

The presence of parabens in the products maintains the stability and durability of the cosmetic. Prevents oxidation and degradation of active ingredients. This is especially important in products that come into direct contact with the skin, i.e. face creams.

Parabens used in acceptable concentrations in cosmetic products are safe. The degree of harm is determined by their concentration and the types of mixtures used.

Are parabens harmful – legal standards

Parabens in cosmetics have been used since the 1930s. or 1940. last century. Parabens and preservatives are very well researched, and their safety is carefully defined in the list of preservatives approved for use in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 30, 2009 concerning cosmetic products.

It is regulated not only what substances can be in the composition of cosmetics, but also in what concentrations:

  • with one substance, the concentration can be up to 0.4%;
  • with the mixture, the concentration of parabens can be 0.8%.

The safety assessment of preservatives also relates to the type of cosmetic formulation in which they are found. They are approved for use in all water-based cosmetics.

Parabens that are most commonly found in cosmetics include ethylparaben, prophylparaben, buthylparaben, hepthylparaben and benzylparaben.

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