The big bad wolf "Preservative" is something that's always talked about or looked for when buying cosmetics to put on your body.
To stay relevant in today's world of all natural and healthy, crafters have to become.... Chemists in the way they create natural products for skin. What I mean by chemists is, continued study and research on products that people say are bad and what actual science and study says is not bad for your body.
The main liner in preservatives that stems this controversy is Parabens. Parabens are estrogen-active chemicals, so they act like estrogen in the body and interfere with the body’s messaging system The fact that parabens can weakly mimic estrogen isn’t debated in the scientific community—it’s whether or not this is inherently dangerous, and how much exposure threatens our health.
Currently, the American Cancer Society’s stance is that “studies have not shown any direct link between parabens and any health problems, including breast cancer,” while the FDA’s viewpoint is that “parabens have not been shown to be harmful as used in cosmetics.”
One of the products that are said to be safe is "Sodium Benzoate". A Paraben is produced by the esterification of para-hydroxybenzoic acid with the appropriate alcohol, such as methanol, ethanol, or n-propanol. Sodium benzoate is produced by the neutralization of benzoic acid, which makes Sodium Benzoate a paraben itself!
A preservative is needed in cosmetics that have water in them, to stop the growth of bacteria, and then spreading that bacteria all over your face and body. The amount of preservative needed in cosmetics is usually 1% and less.
When looking at ingredients for your skin care products if you see a paraben make sure it's listed second to last or the last ingredient listed on the label. Usually that last thing listed is fragrance. This insures your getting the minimal amount of exposure to parabens, at least from cosmetics.
To sum everything up, we think parabens are safe in cosmetics when used correctly and more than likely safer than non paraben preservatives.