Are there effective broad spectrum organic preservatives

Hi I am making cosmetics that need to go through a microbial test. I want to have my products made organic. What is the best product? Toners, Serums, and lotions. They are all going to have water. The toner being 75% water and Aloe Vera with glycerin. What is the best preservative?


INCI: Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Glycerin, Sorbic Acid 


INCI: Benzyl Alcohol (and) Dehydroacetic Acid


INCI: Fragrance or Parfum

Thank you,


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    What do you mean by "organic"? 
    Are you talking about certified organic by the USDA? 
    Are you talking about "organic" = "natural"?
    Are you talking about "organic" as in certified by some lesser natural standard?
    Are you talking about "organic" as in organic chemistry?

    Probably the most effective and reliable preservative which has been tested, are organic molecules, and are broadly effective are Methylparaben & DMDM Hydantoin. But I suspect you might mean something else by the term "organic".
  • Thanks for the reply, when I say organic I mean not far removed from nature, as possible. What is properly preserving these products?
    Here are are some examples:

    Face Mist

    Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water*, Glycerin*, Sodium PCA, Aqua (Water), Polyglycerin-10-Myristate, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Water*, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract*,  Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Glyceryl Caprylate, Malpighia glabra (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Extract,  Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Maltodextrin, Sea Salt, Lactic Acid, Quartz, Alcohol*, 1-Octen-3-yl acetate**.

    Face Mist

    Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Flower Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Jasminum Grandiflorum Floral Extract,Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract.

    Face Mist

    Hordeum Vulgare Leaf Juice*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Distillate, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Water*, Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Aqua/Water/Eau, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Calcium Ketogluconate, Anigozanthos Flavidus Extract, Banksia Serrata Flower Extract, Grevillea Speciosa Flower Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Beta Vulgaris/Beet Root Extract/Extrait de Racine de Betterave, Glycerin, Sodium Phytate, Citric Acid, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sodium Citrate, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Alcohol

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Preservatives in above products are:
    1: Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate
    2: Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate
    3: Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate, Propanediol, Phenethyl Alcohol
    These are natural or semi-synthetic but from renewable resources. There's probably no THE best preservative which fits 'em all but a range to choose from. Cosphatec for example has a nice pdf available with different blends for different applications.
  • GabyDGabyD Member
    Naticide (Parfum) smells really bad. I would not use it.

    Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate is not effective enough on its own. I used it with AMTCide and my emulsion still went mouldy, in spite of passing PET.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    In my experience, the best all-around natural preservative is:

    Linatural Ultra-3:  Phenethyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol ... from Lincoln Fine Ingredients.

    Broad pH range and it works well in toners, serums ... water-based products.
    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
  • Thank you so much for the input
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