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A paraben is a synthetic preservative. They are found in some pharmaceutical products and sometimes even in food. Common types of parabens are butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, isobutylparaben and propylparaben. Since parabens are preservatives, they elongate a product’s shelf life making stores able to stock them for longer and also to provide more time for companies to ship products to the stores. Because the paraben chemical structure is comparable to that of estrogen, there are claims that parabens too can cause weight gain. There are also companies and stores that claim paraben free products. Products that often contact parabens are shampoo, toothpaste, make-up, moisturizing creams, sunscreens and shaving creams.
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