Sensitive Skin Toner Safety Question - Cosmetic Science Talk

Sensitive Skin Toner Safety Question

I currently do anhydrous skin care and want to break into aqueous sensitive skin facial care. Something simple, like a toner. I have seen a few on the market; is it possible to make a toner using alcohol free witch hazel, hydrosol, seaweed extracts, cucumber extracts, vitamins, and citric acid without preservation? Is citric acid stable enough to keep a product safe for a year? Is it the best choice for sensitive skin?If not, are there other acidifiers that would work effectively for those who are sensitive?


  • Citric acid will NOT act as a preservative except at extremely high concentrations - much greater than would be acceptable in a cosmetic product. A proper preservative is essential. Don't be influenced by bloggers, scaremongers and similar know-it-alls about the  dangers of any and all preservatives. A water based product without a preservative can be much more dangerous than all preservatives put together.

    If there are products on the market without preservatives, as you suggest, let them carry on and wait for the hefty lawsuits when something goes wrong.
  • Better to use preservative.
    keep your product pH between 4 to 5 using citric acid and add preservative like sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate.
    I developed so many products with this combination and all products are fine, no any issue of microbs
  • You might consider using Lactic Acid (lowers pH and provides moisturization) combined with Gluconodeltalactone (and) Sodium Benzoate.  It's a nice combination that provides benefits beyond simple preservation and lowering of the pH.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details

  • As Mark  said at PH 5 use Gluconolacone/BA  (Geoguard ULtra0 which is good preservative and GLA moisturizes and buffers ph.1-1.5% should be sufficient.
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