When addressing what are parabens, it's essential to start with their basic definition. Parabens are a group of synthetic compounds widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Their primary function is to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, mould, and yeast, thereby extending the shelf life of products. Parabens are commonly found in shampoos, moisturisers, lipsticks, and deodorants. They are valued for their effectiveness and low cost, making them a popular choice in many personal care products.