Let's Talk Preservatives!

Preservatives have been a hot topic in beauty and skincare since the natural beauty boom. Their importance is of no doubt, but they are not a legal requirement, nor are they necessary in all types of products.

What Are They?

Preservatives are chemicals added to cosmetics to prevent or inhibit the growth of unwanted microorganisms or stop product degradation over time. There are many types, suitable for different kinds of cosmetics, and it’s important that if you choose to use preservatives, you chose the right one for your product. 

Do I Have To Use Them?

Generally speaking, it’s always a good idea to use preservatives in your cosmetic product. By doing so, you protect the user from microbial growth that will inevitably occur after use or along the natural life of the ingredients. There are few exceptions to this however! 
Products that are never exposed to air or customers skin: These products are packaged in air tight containers and are dispensed straight into the customers hand or finger. I.e, the customer never has to put their finger inside the container, so therefore will not introduce microbes from their hands to the product. In this case, preservatives are not necessary, as long as the natural life on the product is made clear. 
Products that contain no water/aqua: Oil based products are less likely to grow microbes such as mould. It is extremely important that there is no water whatsoever in the product, or microbes will grow inside. This is why it is common to see products such as lip balms preservative free.

 

What Type Should I Use?

Make sure the preservative you use is suitable for your mixture - water or oil based. Using the correct type of preservative is important to ensure that is work properly. There are also preservative made specially for products that are a combination of both oil and water products.