Maui Nani uses Methyl Paraben in our Awapuhi Toner and our Macadamia Nut Moisturizer.
Methyl Paraben, formula CH3(C6H4(OH)COO), is the methyl ester of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. It is a stable, non-volatile compound used as an antimicrobial preservative in foods, drugs and cosmetics since the 1920s. Parabens occur naturally in many plant sources, such as blueberries and carrots. Methyl paraben is synthetically produced from the benzoic acid found in benzoin tree gum, because it would be too expensive to extract from a natural source.
A combination of mis-interpretation and flawed studies has caused a lot of worry about the use of parabens in cosmetics. The main quote: “parabens were found in breast cancer tissue” comes from a study that has been completely discredited by scientists. No causal link between parabens and cancer has been proven. You may also have heard that parabens show weak oestrogenic (oestrogen = female hormone) activity. This is true, but the effect is so weak that it is not significant. By comparison, whole grains, hops, soy beans and many other common foods show high oestrogenic activity.
According to the scientific literature Methyl paraben is not carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic or embryotoxic and is negative in the uterotrophic assay. 500 independent safety studies of parabens have been carried out over the decades. It is one of the most commonly used preservatives in cosmetics today. It is used globally and permitted by every world health authority.
Maui Nani uses Methyl Paraben, because the most important thing is that our products are safe for you to use. Without a preservative some of our products would grow dangerous bacteria, yeast and mold. Methyl paraben is added to control the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds and keep our products free of undesirable bacteria, yeast and mold.
For further information on Methyl Paraben and Parabens in general, please see the follow European Union SCCP opinions:
SCCP(Scientific Committee on Consumer Products), Extended Opinion on Parabens, underarm cosmetics and breast cancer, 28 January 2005.
Other good references on Parabens: