A preservative is a natural or synthetic ingredient that is added to products such as foods, pharmaceuticals and personal care products to prevent spoilage, whether from microbial growth or chemical changes.
The use of preservatives is essential in most products to prevent product damage caused by microorganisms and to protect the product from contamination by the consumer during use.
There are two main categories of preservative:
· Antimicrobial protects the product from growth of mould and bacteria eg Optiphen
· Antioxidants protects it against damage and degradation caused by exposure to oxygen eg Vitamin E
Without preservatives, cosmetic products, just like food, can become contaminated, leading to product spoilage and possibly irritation or infections. Microbial contamination of products, especially those used around the eyes and on the skin, can cause significant problems.
How much preservative do I use?
Refer to our Factsheets about recommended amounts of preservatives to use. If preparing your products for sale, it is recommeded you carry out testing on your products before sale.