Concerns regarding the safety of cumulative exposure to parabens have been raised as a consequence of their estrogenic and endocrine effects. These antibacterial agents are commonly used in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Preliminary data from animal models has indicated potential links between paraben exposure and various conditions ranging from skin disorders to autism. Oral consumption of parabens is not a cause for concern because they are readily metabolised by the liver and excreted rapidly by the kidney. The presence of parabens in adipose tissue is thought to be due to dermal absorption of parabens where they are incompletely metabolised. Various studies have been performed on paraben absorption; however transdermal permeation of parabens from an emulsion has not been studied to date. In this preliminary study dermal permeation and metabolism across human skin were evaluated for methyl paraben (MP) and butyl paraben (BP) from an emulsion, using Franz Diffusion cell system with analysis by q-ToF (quadrupole time of flight) mass spectrometry. MP was observed to have lower permeation and lower extent of metabolism than BP.