An ethyl ester of p-hydroxybenzoic acid, ethylparaben is primarily used as an antifungal preservative in food and other applications. It is also used extensively in the cosmetics industry as a preservative in everything from body lotion and skin cream to deodorant and antiperspirant. It is also added to essential oils to provide additional stability, and it is rare to find cosmetics that do not contain some form of ethylparaben as a means of preserving their contents over time and preventing the growth of fungus and bacteria. In terms of toxicity, there has been a considerable amount of debate in the cosmetics industry and the medical industry as to the carcinogenic nature of ethylparaben, though independent experts and the US FDA have both determined through extensive research that the levels of ethylparaben in cosmetics present an extremely low risk of being carcinogenic. To date, no strong evidence has been found that demonstrates that ethylparaben causes cancer in human beings.
Personal Care and Cosmetics