Preservative for Vitamin C Serum

Hi everyone!

We are looking to improve our private label formulations and have been researching preservative systems. Just curious if anyone has feedback/suggestions. Currently we use phenoxyethanol in our products (Line of anti-aging serums/creams including Vitamin C, Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid products). We are aware that it pheno is somewhat frowned upon, but the current alternative we've found is Sodium Benzoate which also doesn't seem to have a good rep, though it appears debatable. 

We've found a couple formulas of a competitor that doesn't use either, but we don't completely understand how this works. It appears to be a mix of Hydroxyacetophenone, 1,2-Hexanediol, and Caprylyl Glycol. 

Anyhow if anyone has suggestions or would like to work with us on this, we'd be all ears! We know it's dependent on the formula itself, however it seems that competitors fall either in to the pheno or benzoate camps, with a few outliers having Caprylyl Glycol. 

Comments

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @hemmnathan:

    You could always try coupling 1,2-Hexanediol & Caprylyl Glycol with Sodium Levulinate (and) Sodium Anisate which are more gentle natural analogs to Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate.  It all depends on the pH of your formulation.
    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
  • If the pH is 3.5 to 4 will sodium benzoate & pot. sorbate do the Job?
  • Thanks @MarkBroussard and @amitvedakar! I've read better things about Anisate and Levulinate, so that could definitely be something to try. We could definitely come back to benzoate, but just trying to avoid that for now. 
  • @MarkBroussard is the below preservative suggestion a ready made preservative product already on the market or would you mix up yourself? If done yourself what  % of each ingredient would you suggest?

    Also, at what % level would you suggest adding to a formulation?
    @hemmnathan:

    You could always try coupling 1,2-Hexanediol & Caprylyl Glycol with Sodium Levulinate (and) Sodium Anisate


  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    1,2-Hexanediol & Caprylyl Glycol is Symdiol 68 from Symrise, but you could mix it yourself with the individual components ... say 65%:35%

    Sodium Levulinate (and) Sodium Anisate is Dermosoft 1388 ECO from Dr. Stratemans ... it may have recently been renamed ... Dr. Straetmans is now owned by Evonik.

    You could add 1% Symdiol 68 with 2% Dermosoft which is in a water/glycerin base.  Alternately, you can buy the salts without the pre-mix and add each at 0.5%
    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 great, will have a look. Thank you for the info :)
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