A new report just came out on parabens that I found interesting. Having read previous papers about parabens I have been skeptical of the bad press they have received supposedly because of them affecting the hormonal systems of the body which lead to cancer. This new study indicates that although parabens are well absorbed orally they are poorly absorbed through the skin and are well metabolized before they reach the blood stream. And the metabolite found in the blood, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, had no hormone (estrogen) action in the body.
This study was presented by Florian Schellauf at the Scandinavian Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCANCOS) in Sweden and has not yet been published in a peer reviewed journal, so I will wait before making any definite conclusions.
In fact, parabens themselves are natural substances found in food and so we are exposed to them through food. Parabens is the name given to a group of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) esters. Parabens are biodegradable and natural. A growing number of manufacturers are now using Japanese honeysuckle extract in their products. This is a source of parabens and by using it the manufacturers are getting around the negative public perception of using parabens. We may have done parabens a big disservice and could find that they are actually the best and most natural preservative we can use. Lets keep an open mind on this.
Here is more reading on the subject: New Data on Parabens Suggest No Adverse Effect on the Body
Here is another interesting article on parabens, a copy of a Paper on Natural Parabens by Anthony C. Dweck