'first ever all-natural preservative free face wash'...

JennovaJennova Member
edited December 2017 in Off Topic
I've recently met the brand owners of a business claiming to be 100% preservative free and 'hypoallergenic' - they gave a presentation at a summit I attended about the harms of preservatives and the benefits of their formulation over ever other formula on the market. They also were very firm on their stance that all synthetic ingredients are damaging to your skin... As you can imagine, there was quite the heated debate afterward.  

Was wondering your thoughts? Is it ethical for these claims when the ingredients in the products have preserving effects and are demonstrated to be allergenic? I know I shouldn't be annoyed with this lol, they just keep popping up on my news feed.

Ingredients: Aqua, Saccharum Officinarum (Unrefined Sugar) Extract, Maris Sal (Organic Sea Salt), Saponins, Mel (Unprocessed Raw Honey), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Juice, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Acacia Senegal Gum Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Leaf Oil, Cinnamomum Cassia (Chinese Cinnamon) Leaf Oil


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Saponins are not good cleansers and there's nothing hypoallergenic about natural ingredients that are known allergens to some people.

    But what do you expect from people who financially benefit by getting other people to believe BS?

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Sinclair
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    can't see anything in there that would have a preservative effect - in fact, what I do see is an awful lot of bug food (sugar, honey, guar gum)

    assuming that ingredients list is accurate, the only realistic possibility for self-preservation would be if the product is very acidic, i.e. with a pH less than 3

    in my view they're being breathtakingly reckless by selling a product which has such a high potential for microbial contamination
    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
  • The essential oils they use have demonstrated preserving effects… Not sure if the product would stand up to a challenge test though...





    They also claim to use ‘Good’ Skin Bacteria (MIRR)™ Technology as an active in all their products….. They claim that their formations work by ‘inhibiting pathogenic microbes while encouraging desirable bacteria to allow good bacteria to flourish in your skin microbiome’.... Not sure where that is in their ingredient list…?



  • My bet is it would not pass USP/OTC  challenge test.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Since the science isn't advanced enough to know what are the good microbes and bad microbes and how much you should have in the skin microbiome, I wouldn't put much faith in their Good Skin Bacteria Technology.

    I agree with @Bill_Toge a company selling a product like this is being reckless.

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    edited January 2018
    Actually, this is probably a low pH product ... the unrefined sugar extract is essentially Glycolic Acid.  Add to that a high salt environment and essential oils that do exhibit antimicrobial activity (Orange, Clove, Cinnamon) and you've created a fairly hostile environment for microbial growth.  I suspect you're probably in the pH range of 3.0 to 4.0.

    And it's quite possible that the saponins permeate the bacterial cell wall.

    So, when you break it down, they're really using hurdle technology with natural ingredients.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Now, the MIRR Technology ... that's where they lose credibility ... a preservative system does not know the difference between "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria ... it will kill all bacteria that are susceptible to it's effects.

    I suspect MIRR Technology is not a single ingredient, but the combination of sugar extract, salt, the essential oils and the saponins working synergistically to form a natural preservation system.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    This came up earlier in the year in one of the groups I participate in. Essentially they use an untested preservative system that borrows aspects from the hurdle technique. It may or may not work. However, they wrap it in marketing and interestingly enough they were aggressive in confronting anyone who challenged their claims. Basically, some science wrapped in layers of marketing.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    edited January 2018
    Well, there are only two options here:  (1)  Their natural hurdle technology actually works and passed PCT; or, (2) It does not work and they are selling a completely unpreserved product.  Since they're based in the UK, they would have had to have done a Safety Survey AND Registered their product with the regulators.

    I suspect that their preservation system does indeed work in looking at the components ...

    (1)  low pH (sugar extract),
    (2)  rupture the bacterial cell wall (saponins) ((works in combination with Salt)) ... saponins rupture the bacterial cell wall and the salt in solution creates an osmotic barrier to remove the contents from the ruptured cell wall
    (3)  Essential Oils with antimicrobial activity, synergistically combined.

    Pity they created this ridiculous marketing hype MIRR "selective bacteria" spin ... same nonsense as probiotics for the skin, when they had a very interesting approach to a natural preservation system.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • Brilliant @MarkBroussard ;

    I'm wondering how they came up with their 'MIRR technology' claim. When I spoke with one of the owners, he was very firm there was no product on the market that was able to do what their product does and that they're currently doing a bunch of research with a local hospital. When I asked for further clarification, he didn't seem to know what he was talking about or what the skin microflora was in general... he just kept repeating that all preservatives and synthetics are bad, their product is 100% preservative free and there's no product as effective as theirs on the market... a wee bit trumpian lol.  

    They've also been speaking at a lot of summits lately... like I said, generally not well received... and getting a lot of press about being "the first ever truly natural 100% preservative free face wash". This all just really irks me. 

    Thoughts on the preservative-free claims?
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist

    Well, they can legitimately claim "Preservative-Free" in the sense that they do not use one of the traditionally listed/approved preservatives for cosmetics.  Personally, I don't quite understand the marketing appeal of "preservative-free" ... I do have skin sensitivity to Potassium Sorbate, for instance, so I avoid it, but I don't have issues with preservatives in general.  I'd rather have a safe products as opposed to an unpreserved product.

    I think what they have come up with in the development of a natural preservation approach is really quite clever.

    But, if they are intent of wasting their reputation on some non-sensical MIRR selective microbe claims, well ... it is what it is.

    The skin microbiome is estimated to comprise over 1,000 various bacteria.  So, all of those bacterial are "good bacteria" ... the only ones that are "bad" are those that cause skin conditions/disease.  The concept that you could create a simple skin cleanser that would selectively promote "good" bacteria over "bad" bacteria is utter nonsense.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • @MarkBroussard ; - ugh! lol Even if an ingredient isn't a classic preservative, if an ingredient or formula has a preserving effect, isn't it, by definition, not preservative free? I just hate that claim for the amount of confusion it's causing to consumers. It's great that they were able to make a natural preservative system... but yah, it's preserving lol.To my understanding, in Europe they're talking about banning this type of free-from claim. Curious of other people's thoughts on that. 


  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    Wasn't the "first ever all-natural preservative free face wash" just water? Very natural. 

    I really hate these types of claims and marketing because even if this company have managed to create a "self preserving" formulation without traditional preservatives they make people think it is ok to make unpreserved products. This can be very dangerous especially when it gets propagated on the internet by the DIY crowd. (I am happy for people to try DIY - just do it safely)

    I prefer to know what is in a product rather than what is not in it. I am looking forward to the ban on free-from claims.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Jennova - I think from a legal standpoint they justify the claim as long as they don't use preservatives listed in the EU regulations. I agree it's a terrible claim which could ultimately be harmful to consumers.  

  • DASDAS Member
    Nitrofurans might also play a role in there. 

    I hope it doesn't take a massive intoxication or a tragedy before an organism start regulating this.
  • mikethairmikethair Member
    edited January 2018
    "the first ever truly natural 100% preservative free face wash".... not quite true.

    We have been producing one for years. You can check the ingredient list here: http://indochinenatural.com/shop/patchouli-lavender-face-wash-250-ml/

    The sad thing with the brand mentioned here is  the 'hypoallergenic,' 'MIRR selective microbe claims' and 'preservatives are bad' hype. Our approach is to produce what we do, and have the product speak for itself. Our face wash sells very well under our own brand and a few other brands. At the end of the day consumers (in my opinion) are not so concerned about technical features, but are more interested in what works for them.
    Dr. Mike Thair
    Cofounder & Chief Formulator
    Indochine Natural
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