Presevative for all-natural formulations

Hi! I´m struggling with the preservation of natural formulations, my client only wants natural preservatives. Can someone advise me on a reliable site to deepen the topic? Where I live it is really difficult to get ingredients, that's why I must be very careful to choose them! and do my best to have a safe formula and save time. Thanks!!


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Best is to ask your client for a list of preservatives they define as 'natural'. Some of the 'bad chemicals' also exist in nature whereas 'natural' ones don't exist in nature. Also, several of both classes are produced in a similar fashion just that one is based on 'chemicals' (often petroleum derived, but not necessarily) and the other on renewable resources.
    Furthermore, 'natural' or better call them alternative preservatives are even more dependent on what you want to preserve than 'chemical' or better call them traditional ones.
    Cosphatec as an example has a nice list of different preservatives.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Yes, unless you can define what you mean by "natural" it's hard to give a good answer. Phenoxyethanol is considered natural by some & not natural by others.

    Also, it depends on the type of formulation you are making. 
  • Thank you @Pharma and @Perry!. Sure, I know it depends on the meaning of "natural" and on the formulation, my client wants different products and that is why I want to study the alternatives. I will have a look at Cosphatec, thanks @Pharma.
    Anyway, what I want is to find a good and reliable source to know the pro and cons of each one, whether to use them or not, from an objective point of view. Do you know a reliable source where I can find that information? Thanks again!
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Here's a pretty good compilation put together by @MakingSkincare which can get you started.

    List of cosmetic preservatives

  • Thank you @Perry!
  • You can usually get away with potassium sorbate/sodium benzoate for "natural" formulations - restriction on pH is a downside though
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