What is Methylparaben?

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Methylparaben is an anti-irritant agent and water-soluble anti-microbial. It is an anti-fungal and very commonly used as a preservative for cosmetics, drugs and food items. It functions as a preservative as well as a bacteriostatic agent. Methylparaben is extracted from the benzoic acid that is derived from benzoin tree gum. It is considered both to be a phenol as well as an ester. A lot of times, methylparaben is used in skincare and beauty projects for rejuvenation purposes.

Function

Methylparaben is often used as an anti-fungal agent in foods. It operates to protect food items from Drosophila, which are often referred to as fruit flies or vinegar flies. Methylparaben functions to slow down the growth of fruit flies during both the larval and pupal periods.

Considerations

Methylparaben is considered to be a safe substance. It is easily absorbed through both the skin as well as through the gastrointestinal tract. It quickly is excreted and eliminated without any building up inside of the body. It is non-toxic by parenteral and oral consumption. It works well with sensitive skin types and is gentle and non-irritating.

Warning

Even though methylparaben is a safe substance, there have been incidences of allergic reactions to it reported. Because of this, people with allergies to methylparaben should try to avoid any food items, cleansers or any other type of product that might contain methylparaben.

Identification

So technically speaking, what is methylparaben? It is a chemical and its full name is methyl p-hydroxybenzoate. It is created by p-hydroxybenzoic acid's methanol esterification while sulfuric acid is present. Methylparaben is distilled after esterification (the chemical process for producing esters).

Theories/Speculation

Some people believe that methylparaben contained in shampoos have the potential to actually make its users gain weight! This is because methylparaben is known to have some endocrine-disrupting effects, which have the ability to actually lead to weight gain. Since it is thought that when you use a product such as shampoo or lotion, about 3/5 of that product could end up in your body, many people avoid endocrine-disrupting substances such as methylparaben and propylparaben.

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