What are Parabens?
Parabens are esthers of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. They are widely used as preservatives in the cosmetics industry. They are easy to spot on ingredient labels because they all have paraben in their name (butylparaben, heptylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben). They are often combined to provide protection from contamination against a broader range of microorganisms. So you might see propylparaben and methylparaben in the same product, as the chemist who created the formula for the product was trying to create a product that would be as safe from contamination as possible.
There has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding the safety of parabens. This stems largely from a UK study that determined that in a sample of 20 breast cancer tumors, all of them were found to contain trace amounts of parabens. While the tumors in the study were found to contain parabens, there has not been any research that has shown that parabens actually cause cancer. Parabens have been shown to have estrogenic activity, and estrogenic activity has been associated with some types of breast cancer.
Unfortunately, there have not been sufficient studies to prove or disprove the absolute safety of parabens. We believe that additional studies are needed before paraben safety can be determined.
Currently parabens are allowed in products in the US and the EU. They are inexpensive and effective at preventing microbial growth in personal care products and cosmetics.
Parabens and AloeVender
Because there is some question as to the safety of parabens, and because there are effective alternatives, we choose to not use parabens in our products. It is an easy choice for us to make.We see is as a benefit that we pass on to our customers. The preservative that we use, Optiphen Plus (which is a combination of Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol and Sorbic Acid), is accepted worldwide and is universally accepted as being safe and effective.