Methylparaben is an ester of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. It is a fine crystalline powder, which is odourless, tasteless and non-irritating.
Parabens are some of the oldest cosmetic preservatives and have been used since the 1920s.
They are used globally and are permitted by every world health authority (500 independent safety studies have been carried out over the decades). Scare-mongering ‘studies’ into their potentially negative effects have now been widely debunked.
Parabens occur naturally in some fruits and vegetables, including blueberries.
Methylparaben is used to control the growth of bacteria, yeasts and moulds. We use less than half the maximum permitted level to ensure the product is as mild as possible and the skin's natural microflora is not affected. This low level of use also helps with the bio-degradability of our product and any waste material created during manufacture.
We formulate our products without preservatives wherever possible. Many Lush products are completely free of preservatives and are formulated to be self-preserving. Our products are fresh, and we even tell you when we made them. They arrive in our shops within a few days; for some products, they arrive in 24 hours.
Conventional cosmetic shelf life is around 30 months. Our products can have shelf lives as little as three weeks, but are usually around 14 months. We even ask that you store our fresh face masks in the fridge.
We assess the need for preservatives by considering many factors. The type of product, its structure, manufacturing process, ingredients and application. Using this information and microbiological tests during the products' development, we then choose the appropriate preservative. At this point, the decision may be made to use one of the parabens, which increases the protection from microbial growth.
The parabens are still the safest and mildest we can find. We constantly review and investigate cosmetic preservatives, and we consider any sound scientific evidence. They are safe to handle during manufacture and guarantee the quality and safety of the products we want our customers to enjoy.