Preservatives can be found in anything and everything, from food to skin care. Although some chemical and natural preservatives are safe, there are a few to avoid.
To begin with, preservatives in cosmetics are not harmful. Preservatives in cosmetics include things like setting spray and finishing powder. Do you want your makeup to vanish in a matter of hours after you’ve spent so much time creating it? You don’t want it to go away; you want it to last! The same is true when it comes to skin care.
When you buy a new serum or cream, you want to know that it will last you at least 30 days. Preservatives are used to provide a long shelf life. Otherwise, your skin care’s active ingredients will become inactive, and the product will go bad.
Why are preservatives used in cosmetic & skincare products?
Preservatives are required in skin care products; otherwise, they would only last a few weeks, if not days. We’d have to use entire bottles of cleanser, moisturizer, and other products in only a week or two before they were coated in mold, or worse—bacteria or yeast that may infect us. There are a lot of weird skin care treatments out there, but none of them include putting bacteria on your face, as far as we know!
Skin care products are particularly prone to the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms because they contain so much water, and water is where those yucky little critters thrive! Because natural skin care products contain even more water than those created with a lot of chemicals, they are particularly vulnerable.
Preservatives in cosmetics are necessary to avoid changes induced by bacteria and contamination throughout formulation, shipment, storage, and usage by consumers. Antioxidants can also be utilized to defend against the effects of oxygen exposure.
Common harmful preservatives in skincare products with their effects
The following is the common harmful cosmetic preservatives list:
- Parabens is a low-cost preservative that’s found in a wide range of skincare products to keep them fresh. They also aid in the prevention of potentially harmful germs from entering the product.
- Parabens suppress the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms in skincare products, which is especially important in hot and humid conditions. Natural chemical compounds known as parabens have been related to a variety of health issues.
- When parabens were discovered in breast tumors, it generated a stir, however there is no solid evidence that the parabens caused the tumors. Consumers and health professionals are putting pressure on skincare and cosmetic companies to decrease or eliminate parabens from their products.
- Phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate, benzoic acid, and benzyl alcohol are likely alternatives to parabens.
- Formaldehyde is a colorless gas in its purest form. It can’t be used as a cosmetic ingredient, and it usually needs to be mixed with water before being used as formalin. Other ingredients that slowly release formaldehyde could be used as preservatives in skincare products.
- Formaldehyde is an antibacterial preservative that prevents bacteria from growing in the product. Formaldehyde in small amounts is completely safe. Many items, including plants, cigarettes, and food, naturally contain modest levels of formaldehyde. It is safe and lawful to use in skincare products at low amounts.
- Because they are more economically possible, the cosmetic industry is now adopting formaldehyde releasers, which are a time-release version of formaldehyde. They have the potential to irritate the skin.
- While using a single product with a formaldehyde-releasing preservative may not be harmful, it is possible that it is not the only source of exposure. These compounds are found in many of the items we use on a daily basis.
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, like formaldehyde, are known allergens and sensitizers.
- The next in harmful cosmetic preservatives list is urea. Aside from being a possible irritant, urea is also a formaldehyde releaser, which is why we avoid it.
- It receives an E safety grade because it is commonly regarded as dangerous. It acts as a preservative by releasing formaldehyde, which is a pollution in and of itself.
- You won’t have to worry about microorganisms with Diazolidinyl Urea, but you will have to worry about its carcinogenic qualities and side effects like skin irritation and allergies. Because of its breakdown qualities, evidence suggests that this preservative may not be effective.
Myths & facts on preservatives in skincare products
Myth 1: preservatives in cosmetics are all harmful!
fact: Preservatives aren’t all dangerous. Of course, there are many preservatives to avoid, but it does not imply you should avoid them entirely.
Microbes are more prone to originate, thrive, and spread when there isn’t an efficient preservative in skin care.Cosmetics without preservatives can only be kept in the fridge for about five days before they go bad.
Myth 2: Antioxidants are Preservatives
Fact : Antioxidants are NOT Preservatives. Antioxidants are fantastic in preventing free radical damage, but they aren’t preservatives. Don’t let the words “all-natural” fool you.
When cosmetics are exposed to oxygen, as is the case with cosmetics stored in jars, damage and ingredient degradation can occur. Because antioxidants prevent food from oxidising, they are utilised as preservatives. Antioxidants, on the other hand, are more concerned with the harm caused by free radicals than with bacterial development.
Common safe preservatives to look for in skincare
The following is the safe cosmetic preservatives list:
Phenoxyethanol: This naturally occurring preservative, which is formed when phenol and ethylene oxide react, is safe to use at concentrations of 1 percent or less. Although it is a natural substance, it can also be synthesised. Because phenoxyethanol is not regarded as safe to digest by newborns and young children, it should not be applied to skin where an infant might suckle.
Benzyl Alcohol: Benzyl alcohol, like phenoxyethanol, is present in nature but can also be synthesised. It’s present in plants, beverages, and some fruits, and it’s also found in beaver glands, much to the delight of beaver by the ones used in skincare generally happen to be synthetic.
Sodium Benzoate: it is a chemical compound that has been used to treat a variety of We use this natural ingredient in our products since it is safe to use as a preservative in skin care. It’s an antifungal salt that can be found in everything from prunes to plums.
Sorbate of potassium: Potassium sorbate, like its salty cousin sodium benzoate, is a salt that works well as a natural preservative. It can be found in nature (particularly in berries), but it can also be synthesised.
Ethylhexylglycerin: This transparent liquid, produced from coconut or palm oil, is widely used as a preservative in skincare to replace parabens.
If you discovered that the active chemicals in your preservative-free cosmetics were rapidly deteriorating and swimming in germs, you’d be disappointed. As a result, we always advocate using skin care products that contain safe and effective preservatives.
Because of the delicate nature of skin care formulas and the potential health risks that could develop without them, preservatives in cosmetics and skincare are unavoidable. We want you to feel good about the products you put on your skin, so we propose safe preservatives that perform the job without creating health hazards instead of toxic preservatives like parabens.
What are the functions of preservatives in cosmetics ?
Cosmetics may contain preservatives to prevent unwanted bacteria and mould from growing. Preservatives including parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are widely utilised in cosmetics and personal care products.
What skincare and cosmetic items require preservatives?
With a few exceptions, any formula containing water requires a preservative. Lotions, creams, shampoos, and cosmetics are among these items. Even if the product does not contain water, it will require a preservative if it is likely to be contaminated, as in eyeliner or mascara.
What are natural preservatives?
All natural preservatives in skincare include rosemary and oregano extracts, salt, sugar, vinegar, alcohol, diatomaceous earth, and castor oil. Traditional preservatives like sodium benzoate have already generated health concerns.
Is it true that preservatives in cosmetics are harmful?
Cosmetic preservatives are meant to keep bacteria and microbial growth at bay, but synthetic versions can have negative long-term health consequences. Conventional products often contain parabens and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, but studies have shown that these substances can cause harm.
What is the purpose of preservatives in cosmetics?
Cosmetic preservatives are used to maintain items free of bacteria and fungi. When a cosmetic product contains water, germs and fungus will naturally seek out the moisture. Preservatives stop this from happening and keep the food safe.