The Use of Parabens in Personal Care Products
Parabens are naturally occurring preservatives that can be found in fruits and vegetables. Mangos, blueberries and honey all contain parabens. There are many different types of parabens, and they have long been used in personal care products to safely ensure that harmful bacteria or fungi don’t have the opportunity to grow, causing irritation and other skin problems. Including a preservative, such as a paraben, in a product’s formulation helps guarantee its freshness and quality long after you take it home.
The Expert Panel of the U.S. Cosmetic Ingredient Review* has reviewed the use of parabens in personal care products and concluded they are safe at levels up to 1 percent. This is similar to E.U. regulations, which say that when multiple types of parabens are used in a formulation, each paraben cannot exceed 0.4 percent for a total level of up to 0.8 percent. The reality is that our products use parabens at levels ranging from 0.01 to 0.3 percent, which is significantly below the current E.U. and U.S. regulations.
Our Position on Parabens
We understand that from your perspective, government regulations may not be your only consideration when it comes to the personal care products you and your family use. We’ve been paying close attention to the recent science and to the ongoing public dialogue about parabens. In response to public concerns, we are in the process of restricting the use of certain parabens.
Because we know parents want complete peace of mind when making decisions about their babies, we will phase out the use of all parabens from our baby care products. For adult products, the use of parabens in new products will be restricted to methyl, ethyl and propyl parabens, which have been extensively studied for safety and are supported by Regulatory Authorities around the world. All other types of parabens will be phased out in all our adult products.
- Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's information page on parabens.
- Cork M, Carr J, Sultan A, Moustafa M, Danby S, Messenger A, Fenton P. “A case of life-threatening infections due to preservative absence in a topical cream and audit demonstrating magnitude of the problem”. IPA (2010) International Pediatric Association - 26th International Congress of Pediatrics.
* No endorsement, approval, association, or sponsorship of Our Safety & Care Commitment by the organization listed is stated or implied.