The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients


CAS Number 99-76-3
Chem/IUPAC Name: Methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
EINECS/ELINCS No: 202-785-7
COSING REF No: 35342
Methylparaben is a synthetic preservative commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products. Its primary function is to extend the shelf life of these products by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria and molds. Methylparaben appears as a white, odorless, crystalline powder and is known for its efficacy and cost-effectiveness in preventing microbial contamination. Its chemical formula is C8H8O3. While it has been widely used in the past, concerns have arisen regarding its safety, leading to increased scrutiny and the exploration of alternative preservatives in the cosmetic industry to address potential health and environmental issues.

What is METHYLPARABEN used for?

Methylparaben plays a crucial role in personal care and cosmetics products as a preservative.
  • Skin care: It has the ability to prevent microbial growth and extend shelf life of products like moisturizers, creams, and lotions. By inhibiting the growth of harmful microorganisms, methylparaben helps maintain the safety and integrity of these products, ensuring they remain free from contamination during use
  • Hair care: It also plays a crucial role in hair care products such as shampoos and conditioners. These products often contain water, which makes them susceptible to bacterial and fungal contamination. Methylparaben helps preserve the quality and efficacy of these formulations, preventing spoilage and maintaining their effectiveness
  • Cosmetic products: Cosmetic products like makeup, foundations, and serums frequently incorporate methylparaben as a preservative. This inclusion is vital to prevent the growth of microbes that could compromise product quality and safety. By extending the lifespan of these cosmetics, methylparaben ensures that consumers can confidently use these products without worrying about contamination or deterioration


Methylparaben is synthesized through the esterification of p-hydroxybenzoic acid with methanol, typically in the presence of an acid catalyst. This chemical reaction results in the formation of methylparaben, which is then purified and crystallized to produce the white, powdery substance used as a preservative.

What does METHYLPARABEN do in a formulation?

  • Preservative

Safety profile

Methylparaben has been considered safe for cosmetic use by regulatory agencies in many countries, including the FDA in the United States. It has a long history of use and is generally well-tolerated by most individuals. However, there have been concerns raised about its potential endocrine-disrupting properties and allergenicity in some cases. As a result, some cosmetic companies are exploring alternative preservatives to address these potential issues while ensuring product safety and quality.

Technical profile

Property Values
Boiling Point 270-280°C
Melting Point 125-128°C
pH 4.0-6.0
Solubility Limited solubility in water
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