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Preservatives: to be or not to be…
that is the question

corresponding

GIACOMO SANTUS
HBBS SA Lugano, Via Luganetto 4, 6962, Viganello, Svizzera

Abstract

“Safety first” is obviously the mantra that should always be kept in mind when it comes to Personal care products. For decades, preservatives have been employed as protection against the microorganism contamination threat and to prevent the product degradation. Now the latest trend in marketing, it seems, is a cry for the total removal of this kind of ingredients. Would a world with no preservatives be safer than a preservative-free one?
The quality of the cosmetic products has incredibly grown in the last 10 years. Today formulators have powerful ingredients at their disposal that can give the chance to produce active dermocosmetic agents and not only simple beauty creams. Some of these products are often able to solve skin diseases, taking the place of the pharmaceutical products used before.


Of course, as expected by consumers and required by the law, safety is the first priority for a cosmetic product!
Preservatives are the most important category of ingredients available and appointed to support the safety of cosmetic products. They can prevent microorganisms contamination during cosmetics use, avoiding skin irritation and product degradation. Let’s think about the concept of a preservative system: a cosmetic product can be compared to a home that can be robbed by thieves. The owner, depending on where he lives, has different choices to protect his house. If it is on the top of a skyscraper it will not be necessary to put bars at the windows, but it will be important to check the door with an alarm and an orange light. Otherwise, if he lives at the ground floor, both the bars and the alarm can have a good protecting activity. The same is for a cosmetic formula, either a cream, a shampoo or a shower gel: without a protection, microorganisms that come from outside can potentially spoil it. A preservative system should be used at different doses and cares depending on the final formula and application.
Moreover, if the formulation allow ...




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