In 2006, these chemical preservative products, used for their antibacterian and antimycosic properties, were present in nearly 80% of the cosmetic products commonly found in our bathrooms. They are also used as additives in the food we consume. Yet they are not completely harmless, as they belong to a group of environmental chemical pollutants with oestrogenic properties known as "environmental oestrogens". They actually have the potential to alter normal endocrine behaviour and thus have an influence on the reproductive system, and can be correlated to the development of certain types of cancer.
Alpaderm, the organic Swiss cosmetics laboratory, develops organic skincare products without paraben. Instead, a weak dilution (less than 1%) of a vinegar derivative is used for preserving its hypoallergenic creams, cleansing lotions for sensitive skin, gentle shampoos and sun creams.