Parabens are a group of chemical agents often used as preservatives in cosmetics, foodstuffs and medications.
Preservatives are used in order to prevent the growth of bacteria or fungus in the products. The widespread use of parabens in cosmetics is due to their good conserving qualities and the fact that, in contrast to many other preservatives, they rarely induce allergic reactions.
The parabens most often utilised in cosmetics are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben, often in a mixture of two or more different substances.
Butylparaben and propylparaben and their isomers have been found to be slightly hormone disruptive in experiments with rats and fish, when administered in high concentrations orally or intravenously.
The hormone-disrupting effect has not been observed in humans, but the Danish Consumer Council and the Information Centre for Environment and Health do not recommend the use of products containing these two parabens or their isomers. No cautions have been issued for methylparaben or ethylparaben.
In the light of the above, Matas decided to phase out buthylparaben, isobuthylparaben, propylparaben and isopropylparaben from all our own products in connection with ongoing product development.
This phasing-out is now complete, and no striped Matas products now contain the above substances.
Matas has taken this initiative despite the fact that the Danish Environmental Protection Agency regards all parabens as harmless in cosmetics, as stated on their website: www.mst.dk.