We are living in an era where consumers are seeking out products that are free from certain ingredients usually coined as “harmful”. The terms natural and organic are music to the ears of today’s consumer. Selecting products with these labels makes a lot of sense especially in food products, but is it really the wise choice when it comes to cosmetics? Especially when it comes to preservatives?

If you ever hear “that has a lot of preservatives” it usually is about something in a box or can with an expiration date many months or years away. The preservatives help keep it edible that long.

A preservative by definition is any substance or chemical that prevents decomposition in things such as medical drugs, food, drinks, and cosmetics.

For preservative suppliers, the rising demand for natural products has put them in a uncomfortable position. Unlike food products, preservation is essential for cosmetics. In response, companies are trying to deter the negative perception by offering products with greener or lower levels of preservatives. Also, other type of preservative formulations.

For example, Jeen International has recently showcased two liquid blends that can meet preservation needs of cosmetics, Jeecide AA and Jeecide AA Plus. “Even if the industry recognizes that there is no scientific basis of some for the stigma, our industry is responding to consumer perception,” said Albert Babik, general manager of Jeen.

Other companies alternative solutions are:

  • Preservatives free of phenoxyethanol
  • SharoSense preservatives composed of naturally-derived thymol and laboratory proven technology
  • Amplify which is a proven preservative technology combined with ethyl lauroyl arginate and free of paraben, formaldehyde, and CIT/MIT.

“The preservatives market is very dynamic with sudden changes driven by the latest regulatory restriction or even news and social media,” said David Koehl, global business manager of Troy, a home and personal care formulator company. For example Koehl said that phenoxyethanol which is and has been a safe and effective preservative is being scrutinized today because of bad information being put out on the Internet and social media. But that does not stop Troy from using it.

Just like many years ago it was suddenly popular for formulation companies to seek paraben-free preservatives and today parabens are accepted as safe and effective for formulations. Trends like these have made Phil Hindley, head of global marketing preservation say “If people want a sustainable preservation industry within home and personal care, then it needs to be done at collaborative level—suppliers, NGOs, etc.”

Rather than use negative advertising by throwing out labels such as “preservative-free,” the whole industry including NGOs need to work together to drive innovation and give consumers what they want. Because at the end of the day, there is no way moisturizers or shampoos lasts more than a month without any preservatives.

Source: http://www.happi.com/issues/2017-07-01/view_features/safety-dance/