These are preservatives used in many skin and body care products that extend the shelf life. Courtesy of Healthy tomorrow.org. Just like preservative used in food to keep it fresh, they have been linked to problems when consumed on a daily basis. They also tend to mimic estrogen and have been linked to cancer in humans and animals. However, despite these findings, the Federal Drug Administration(FDA) allows this to be used in cosmetics as of June 2011.
Many smaller companies like Nature’s Natural Solutions have chosen to not use this chemical, along with many others, based on these and other findings. Larger companies still tend to use it today since they move more units and need to keep up with large customer demand in order to keep prices low. More reason to be cautious of companies that suddenly jump on the “green” bandwagon because they feel it may bring in more sales.
While we can judge their intentions, we also cannot monitor every move that these companies make. To read more about parabens and consumer demand, here is an interesting read. Courtesy of Cosmetics-design Europe.