What type of paraben should I use? Methyl or Propyl or mix?

Hi,

I'm starting a hair product line, which consist 35% water phase and 65% oil phase. I've been recommended to blend methyl- and propylparaben as preservative. Do I actually need both types of paraben or would one type be effective enough? 

And can anyone recommend which type of paraben is the more effective one?

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • If you are anyway ok with parabenes - use a mixture. - make sure it is legal where you are located though.
  • Use 70/30 methyl/propyl. The propyl is harder to dissolve in my experience.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    methyl goes in the water phase, and propyl goes in the oil phase; between them, they offer protection for the whole formula

    a word of warning: if you're using ethoxylated emulsifiers (steareth-21, oleth-5 etc.) there is a real chance that one or both of your parabens will crash out of solution and crystallise
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Each paraben is effective against a different range of organisms. Using just one is asking for trouble. Your best bet is to use a pre-made mixture.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • @Bill_toge  Thanks for you advice, have you expericed any cristalization trouble with parabens and Tweens ?, 
  • @luiscuevasii

    Tween 80 & 20 can deactivate parabens. Other nonionic emulsifiers, such as ceteareth-20, may also deactivate parabens.

    You also want to be careful with celluose and its derivatives, because they too can interfere/deactivate parabens.
  • thanks you very much @michellereece  
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    @luiscuevasii, you need to understand what's going on with paraben deactivation, though. It's not a catalytic reaction, or some kind of unknown activity where a tiny bit of emulsifier or cellulose deactivates all the parabens. If you want to use parabens and non-ionic emulsifiers/cellulosics together, you can do that - you just have to use more of the parabens - enough so that you overwhelm the deactivation. 

    What we do is commercial formulation, though, and adding more parabens costs more money - usually enough money that other types of preservatives become more cost effective in a formula containing those deactivators. So, as a general rule, we don't combine them in the same formulations.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Thank you for all your advice, really apprecate it.

     I tried using methyl paraben in water phase and propyl paraben in oil phase. For each type of paraben, I used less than 1% of total weight (oil + water phase), so total paraben is about 2% of total product weight. However my product only last for about 2-3 weeks..

    I don't cook up my water phase because I'm still trying in small batches, so what I do is I use a precook water and mix it with methyl paraben.

    I'm using soya lecithin as my emulsifier.

    Is there anything I did wrong? Or do I need to increase my paraben?

    Thanks in advance!


  • Whoa. That's a looot of parabens. Typical use levels are from 0.05 to 0.2 ish. 
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    If I were you, I'd use Euxyl K-300 (Phenonip, EK 300)

    http://www.schulke.co.uk/product/_/69/euxyl-k-300/ 
    http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/products/phenonip.aspx 

    Using a mix like this means not having to mess with separate preservatives. Since you've had trouble with preservation, I'd suggest a 1% use level.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Thanks @Bobzchemist for your recommendation.

    I'm getting Phenonip, hopefully it will solve my preservation problem as my ingredients are wax, oils, butter, and water.


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