Cosmetic preservatives have strong antimicrobial properties which effectively prevent personal care products from spoiling. They also help in lengthening the shelf life of these products substantially. Usage of some of these agents also has the advantage of having stable effects that are able to keep the function of various active ingredients including anti-oxidants (vitamins), emulsifiers and surfactants.
But not all preservatives are safe. There is more awareness about environmental issues today and health concerns have given way to a new wave of eco-friendly products. These environment friendly products highlight on usage of pure natural sources in an effort to reduce health risks and ensure the well-being of our planet.
Synthetic preservatives like Parabens are widely used in most well-known cosmetic brands. Parabens are known to have adverse effects on the skin and is also a cancer causing agent. Since they are used in skin cosmetics like moisturizer and sunscreens, they penetrate the skin and migrate into the blood stream. The main reason behind using them is because cosmetics contain active ingredients which would go off if preservatives weren’t included and Parabens are anti-microbial. But there are alternatives available.
Another commonly used substance Formaldehyde is also harmful and leads to itching, burning of the skin and is forbidden to use in Japan and Sweden. This substance is also dangerous to the environment as well as wildlife.
Formaldehyde- paraben free preservatives are in demand now and use natural substances that are gentle on our systems, environment friendly and have effective preservative qualities. Preservatives such as Phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, Neolone, OptiphenPlus, Hydantoin, Glycacil, Natrulon and benzethonium chloride are all paraben-free and formaldehyde-free. These alternatives are used in different combinations to come up with new blends every time to cater to the need that has risen by the market for safe preservatives.