What is Methylparaben?

Zara Kassam BSc (Hons), MRes, PhD researcher
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What is Methylparaben?

Methylparaben has been used as a preservative in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries for over 50 years. It is also found naturally in fruits like blueberries as well as small flowering plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana[1].

It is also known for antimicrobial properties.

 

What does it do?

Methylparaben is used as a preservative in skin care and cosmetics products. It is used is a fungicide and anti-bacterial agent, extending the shelf-life of a product. It is quickly absorbed through the skin,

 

Safety

Methylparaben does not appear to be irritating when used topically, although some people may show cross-sensitivity if allergic to local anaesthetics.[2] It may, however, be a cause of local contact dermatitis.[3]

All parabens have similar structure to oestrogen. Studies conducted located traces of parabens in breast tumours, but evidence has not linked parabens with breast cancer. Research is continuing.

Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin may react with UVB, leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage.[4]

 

Other names

Methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate

Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate

Methyl parahydroxybenzoate

 

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[1] Hoffmann, Matthias H. (2002). “Biogeography of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. (Brassicaceae)”. Journal of Biogeography (19): 125–134.

[2] https://www.drugs.com/inactive/methylparaben-290.html

[3] http://www.osha.gov/dts/chemicalsampling/data/CH_254445.html

[4] Handa, O; Kokura, S; Adachi, S; Takagi, T; Naito, Y; Tanigawa, T; Yoshida, N; Yoshikawa, T (2006). “Methylparaben potentiates UV-induced damage of skin keratinocytes”. Toxicology. 227 (1–2): 62–72.

[5]http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/search?term=methylparaben&interface=All&N=0&mode=match%20partialmax&lang=en&region=GB&focus=produc