What Is Methyl Parahydroxybenzoate & Is It Safe?



Methyl parahydroxybenzoate, better known as methylparaben, is a chemical used as a preservative and antifungal agent in many consumer products. This chemical is in the paraben family and can have many negative effects when used while pregnant or trying to conceive which categorizes it as one of the chemicals to avoid



What Products Have Methyl Parahydroxybenzoate In Them?

Methyl parahydroxybenzoate can be found in:

  • Fruits, such as blueberries 

  • Cosmetics 

  • Haircare products 

  • Moisturizers 

  • Deodorants 

Is Methyl Parahydroxybenzoate Safe?

Methyl parahydroxybenzoate has been found to cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritations [1]. Since it is an endocrine disruptor, methyl parahydroxybenzoate can mimic the hormone estrogen and cause negative effects to glands that secrete reproductive hormones [2]. Million Marker does not recommend that pregnant women or women trying to conceive expose themselves to methyl parahydroxybenzoate. 

Health Impacts of Methyl Parahydroxybenzoate Products

Pregnant women exposed to methyl parahydroxybenzoate have been associated with having altered thyroid hormone levels that may lead to neurodevelopmental issues in their children [3]. Additionally, paraben exposure in pregnant women has been shown to be associated with negative effects on their child’s subsequent weight development as well as satiety levels [4]. 

Recommended Alternatives to Methyl Parahydroxybenzoate

Paraben-free products include: 

  • Essential oils

  • Antioxidants 

How to Avoid Methyl Parahydroxybenzoate

Parabens are added to increase the shelf life of products but are unnecessary to maintain their quality. Avoid your exposure to methyl parahydroxybenzoate by: 

  • Purchasing paraben-free products.

  • Looking for natural alternatives to chemical preservatives like grapefruit seed extract and essential oils.

  • Buying products that are USDA certified organic and are free of chemical preservatives.

You can find our recommended personal care products on our Approved Products list!


[1] https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Methylparaben#section=Safety-and-Hazards
[2] https://www.hellomotherhood.com/methylparaben-amp-pregnancy-6615133.html
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470297/
[4] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200212111438.htm