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    What are parabens?

    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.Parabens are frequently used preservatives in skin care products. They were commercialized in the 1950s and possess antifungal and antibacterial properties. About 90% of grocery items contain parabens as they are found in just about everything from deodorants to toothpaste to shampoo to hair conditioner to cosmetics to body lotion.

    There has been recent concern about the safety of parabens as they are the most frequently used preservative in skin care products today. Out of 36,811 formulations, 13,434 contained methylparaben, 10,421 contained propylparaben, 5,289 contained butylparaben, 4,869 contained ethylparaben, and 2,639 contained isobutylparaben. Most formulations contain a cocktail of 3 parabens for preservation.

    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a consulting professor of dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. She is investigator, ...


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