Parabens are a class of bactericidal and fungicidal compounds that are widely used as preservatives throughout the beauty and drug product industries.

In 2004, research published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology suggested a link between paraben exposure and breast cancer. While the American Cancer Association questioned the study’s methodology, consumers were alarmed by the report. In response to consumer fears, parabens were dropped from the formularies of several large cosmetic houses. Nevertheless, the FDA and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review continue to approve the use of parabens as preservatives, and find them safe in the quantities they are used.