Commonly found in cosmetics, propylparaben is an ester of the compound p-hydroxybenzoic acid. A fine white crystalline powder, propylparaben is used as a preservative in food and various other commercial products to help prevent spoilage and maintain freshness for extended periods of time. Propylparaben prevents the formation of microbes by disrupting their reproductive cycle through destabilization of their cell walls, preventing bacteria from fully forming enclosed cells. Microbes already in the material die out after one generation instead of being able to reproduce additional generations of bacteria that feed on and spoil food and other commercial products. Some parabens are naturally occurring in blueberries, but propylparaben is a synthetically manufactured substance found in water-based cosmetics such as creams, lotions, shampoos, and bath products due to its anti-fungal/anti-microbial properties. Propylparaben is non-toxic and requires no special handling or usage protocols, however there has been significant publicity in recent years about the effect of parabens like propylparaben in cosmetics and their effect on human health.
Personal Care and Cosmetics