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PRESERVATIVES the necessary evil in skin care products Part 1

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PRESERVATIVES the necessary evil in skin care products Part 1


The 3 things that spoil your cream, probably about the only truly natural thing in your product

As unfortunate as it is, preservatives are very necessary in formulations or else products will exhibit very little to no shelf life. They prevent most bugs, or microorganisms, from ruining the formulations.


There are three types of contaminants that can spoil a formulation. They are bacteria, moulds and yeast. When these contaminants do develop, you can probably consider them the only true natural organic matter that would then be present in a formulation.


Preservatives are needed to protect all phases in the formulation, namely the oil, water and solid phase. To achieve this comprehensive protection antimicrobials are used. There are many types of preservatives to choose from. The list unfortunately, becomes smaller all the time as claims are made against certain types and requests are made for those types to be phased out.


Antimicrobials used in products prevent the growth of moulds, yeasts, and bacteria.

Antioxidants prevent personal care products from becoming rancid or brown, or sometimes even developing black spots. Antioxidants suppress reactions that may occur when ingredients in the product combine with oxygen in the presence of light, heat, and some metals. Antioxidants also minimize the damage to some essential ingredients or materials that are especially susceptible to oxidative damage.

Rancid personal care products may not make you sick, but they might smell bad or have a different colour or consistency from the original.

Part 2 will be examining how preservatives actually function.

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Guest Monday, 25 September 2017