Shelf-Life: Lipstick without Preservatives

I've been seeing some lipstick formulations without any preservatives.

The lipstick is a mixture of various oils and waxes. No water in the formulation. I wonder if it is alright not to add any preservatives. If so, how long will be the shelf-life of this kind of product? 

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    The question of whether you have to add preservatives or not depends on what your microbial testing tells you. In general, there is a low probability of growth in an anhydrous product. That is why some companies don't add it. The stability from a microbial standpoint could be years. 

    However, there isn't a no-probability of growth. Consumers can get moisture on a product and microbes could grow at the interface. Or your product could get contaminated during production.

    For these reasons it makes sense to add a preservative even to anhydrous formulas.  And the other thing to consider from a scientific standpoint, is that there are zero negative effects of including a preservative "just in case."  

    The only reason for avoiding preservatives is to support a fear marketing campaign. Unfortunately, many consumers buy into this fear so I understand why companies do it. 
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    For many, many years even the big companies didn't preserve their lipsticks. In today's litigious society, that practice had to go. Everything will depend on micro testing and your tolerance for risk against lawsuits.
    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."
  • yes i agree. Does anyone remember the 80's and rancid lipstick smell lol..
    thank god to antioxidant to prolong this issue and preserves.. to avoid that white yuk that forms <span>:blush:</span>
  • ZolveriaZolveria Member
    edited September 2017
    If wrong someone correct  me shelf life depend on the life span of the oils. i think if one of your oil have  a shelf life of 7 month and one 12 that would cut down life span....
    Bobzchemist 
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