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More on Natural Preservatives

SpecialChem / Nick Morante – Apr 13, 2007

This subject always comes up and every time it does there comes the need for more clarification. I keep telling people that any ingredient that will halt the growth of microorganisms can be considered a preservative. But a preservative can only be used as a preservative if it appears on a specific list of functional ingredients that serve that purpose. In legalese, and taken from the EEC Cosmetic Directive, no preservative may be used which does not appear in "Annex VI Part 1 or 2 of the EEC Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC - including the 7th Amending Commission Directive 94/32/EC." The same holds true here in the United States. Ingredients must be from a list of defined preservative ingredients if they are to be used for preserving a cosmetic product. However, there is no legal position for those natural materials that when used for their beneficial effect on the skin, may at the same time have a positive effect on the total preservative activity of the formulation. This being said, there is that whole list of ingredients that we use as regular personal care ingredients that will act on a cosmetic system and will not allow microorganisms to flourish under normal conditions.

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