What preservatives do you use most often?

What is the most common preservative you use?
I am preparing information on cosmetic preservatives, covering instructions for use such as determination, dissolution, and formulation.

Thank you, everyone.
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Comments

  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @ZleyHoldings Cathon CG and Euxyl
  • Phenonip and germall plus (depends on the product)
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Sodium benzoate for hair products, KEM NAT for skin products.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    - Methyl- & Propylparaben or sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate for pharmaceutical preparations (made on prescription at the pharmacy)
    - Verstatil PC (phenoxyethanol & caprylyl glycol) for trial formulations
    - Dermosoft 1388 eco (sodium levulinate & sodium anisate) plus glyceryl caprylate plus pentylene glycol plus Magnolia Extract 98 for everything else. Stupid thing is, that cocktail seems to negatively affect viscosity and even break certain emulsions.

    Obviously, I also add a chelate (phytic acid or EDTA) and antioxidants (different ones, depending on requirements).
  • Fekher said:
    @ZleyHoldings Cathon CG and Euxyl

    Thank You
  • Phenonip and germall plus (depends on the product)
    Thank You
  • Perry said:
    DMDM Hydantoin
    Thank You :p
  • Belassi said:
    Sodium benzoate for hair products, KEM NAT for skin products.
    Thank You.
  • Pharma said:
    - Methyl- & Propylparaben or sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate for pharmaceutical preparations (made on prescription at the pharmacy)
    - Verstatil PC (phenoxyethanol & caprylyl glycol) for trial formulations
    - Dermosoft 1388 eco (sodium levulinate & sodium anisate) plus glyceryl caprylate plus pentylene glycol plus Magnolia Extract 98 for everything else. Stupid thing is, that cocktail seems to negatively affect viscosity and even break certain emulsions.

    Obviously, I also add a chelate (phytic acid or EDTA) and antioxidants (different ones, depending on requirements).
    That's very detailed, thank you.
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @ZleyHoldings you are welcome. 
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    in a previous job I'd use DMDM hydantoin or isothiazolinones for rinse-off products, or Euxyl PE9010 for leave-on products, plus DMDM hydantoin if there were a lot of suspended solids in the product, e.g. clays
    as it stands, I am restricted to Dermosoft 1388 and GMCY, keeping the pH below 6 if there are suspended solids in the product; propanediol at 10-20% helps as well
    in fairness, it works well; thanks to a robust preservative system, and a reliable supply of clean sterilised mains water, it's very rare for us to have a micro count on any of our products
    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
  • Bill_Toge said:
    in a previous job I'd use DMDM hydantoin or isothiazolinones for rinse-off products, or Euxyl PE9010 for leave-on products, plus DMDM hydantoin if there were a lot of suspended solids in the product, e.g. clays
    as it stands, I am restricted to Dermosoft 1388 and GMCY, keeping the pH below 6 if there are suspended solids in the product; propanediol at 10-20% helps as well
    in fairness, it works well; thanks to a robust preservative system, and a reliable supply of clean sterilised mains water, it's very rare for us to have a micro count on any of our products
    Thanks, but our country has started to reduce the use of DMDM hydantoin and isothiazolinones. Because we feel they can be harmful to the body. Now we are more and more starting to use safer preservatives like chlorphenesin, p-hydroxyacetophenone, and Caprylhydroxamic acid.

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @ZleyHoldings - While you may "feel" DMDM and isothiazolinones can be harmful to the body, this is not based on scientific evidence. These ingredients have been proven to be safe for use in the way they are used in cosmetics. 

    If you base your preservative choices on feelings, I'm afraid chlorphenesin won't make the cut with some consumers.  For example, https://www.annmariegianni.com/ingredient-watch-list-chlorphenesin-the-synthetic-preservative-that-can-cause-dermatitis-and-infant-respiratory-distress/

    Neither will Carpylhydroxamic acid since it is causing "an epidemic of allergic contact dermatitis" -  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28421670/

    Traditional preservatives can be used safely. If formulators avoid them and buy into "fear marketing" there aren't going to be any effective preservatives left.

  • Why p-hydroxyacetophenone isn't considered a "para-ben" ? lol :D :D :D
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    zetein said:
    Why p-hydroxyacetophenone isn't considered a "para-ben" ? lol :D :D :D
    Because it's not a benzoic acid derivative.
    Or are you simply making bad chemistry jokes because all the good ones Argon? Maybe start with more basic stuff, like jokes about sodium hydroxide?
    :P
  • Perry said:
    @ZleyHoldings - While you may "feel" DMDM and isothiazolinones can be harmful to the body, this is not based on scientific evidence. These ingredients have been proven to be safe for use in the way they are used in cosmetics. 

    If you base your preservative choices on feelings, I'm afraid chlorphenesin won't make the cut with some consumers.  For example, https://www.annmariegianni.com/ingredient-watch-list-chlorphenesin-the-synthetic-preservative-that-can-cause-dermatitis-and-infant-respiratory-distress/

    Neither will Carpylhydroxamic acid since it is causing "an epidemic of allergic contact dermatitis" -  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28421670/

    Traditional preservatives can be used safely. If formulators avoid them and buy into "fear marketing" there aren't going to be any effective preservatives left.

    Okay, thanks. I'll check the information carefully.
  • I only use Liquid Germall Plus. 
  • Phenonip and germall plus (depends on the product)
    Which is more robust for o/w emulsions? Thank you.
  • Spectrastat G2-N or Euxyl K903
  • I'm really struggling with getting a nice preservative. 
    I've started with Liquid Germall Plus, but I'm afraid some of my customers won't and don't like the fact, that it's formaldehyde donor. 
    So was looking for something different. I found Euxyl PE 9010. I like it, but the smell is just nah. A new one I tried was Geogard Ultra TM (Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (and) Calcium Gluconate), it's a powder, seems to be super nice and easy to use, but it messes up with my pH. So I tried Microcare DB, seems also nice, it's EcoCert, BUT the smell! So it's hard to find one without any smell, "scary" names like Parabens or Formaldehyde and won't mess up with my products. 

    But as for me, I'm using Liquid Germall Plus the most. 
    Also thinking about Naticide - but I know there's a smell to it. And it's expensive. 

    What do you think about Potassium Sorbate & Sodium Benzoate? 
  • @emma1985, phenonip is a blend of several parabens and phenoxyethanol and needs heating to reduce possibility of some of the parabens migration to oil phase. It’s generally quite robust. Germall has some limitations: heat sensitive, not allowed under some regulations for applications on large areas, and if I am not wrong there are some limitations for spray products. Germall is great with surfactants (doesn’t mess up viscosity) and in formulations where transparency is important.
  • @emma1985, phenonip is a blend of several parabens and phenoxyethanol and needs heating to reduce possibility of some of the parabens migration to oil phase. It’s generally quite robust. Germall has some limitations: heat sensitive, not allowed under some regulations for applications on large areas, and if I am not wrong there are some limitations for spray products. Germall is great with surfactants (doesn’t mess up viscosity) and in formulations where transparency is important.
    Thank you! I have worshipped at the altar of Germall Plus for so many years but when I read that parabens are (kind of? More?) bulletproof I thought about switching. I want to start selling on a small scale in the future so it's really important to me that I have extremely robust preservation. I like Germall Plus because I can use it in both water based products (toners and serums,) emulsions and cold process emulsions. It seems phenonip can't believe used in water based products or cold processed products. It seems Germall Plus is more versatile. Think I'll stick with it. Thank you so much for the feedback. 

    Do you have any thoughts on the use of Germall Plus in lip products? I'm thinking about making a lip cream (my lips like a lot of water/hydration in addition to moisture and occlusion.). I think Germall Plus is allowed in lip products in the US but not in the EU. This concerns me a bit. I think Geogard Ect is lip safe but I did a little research and it seems it's not as effective and broad spectrum as Germall Plus.
  • Since phenonip and germall have different components you can use both if you want a product to be bulletproof. I often do this (germall goes to cool down phase). Regarding lip products, I don’t think germall can be incorporated into an anhydrous balm but if it’s an emulsion you can try. Regarding selling, I think that if you decide to sell you should prioritize safety as much as you can. I assume you buy ingredients from repackagers not from suppliers directly. Ingredients sold by repackagers are compromised from the day one. Big companies can use Euxyl PE 9010 and run PET many times to see if it works (and for them it does) but the same 9010 won’t work for someone who is making at home. Don’t get me wrong, germall is a decent preservative, but have a look into combining it with phenonip in some products.
  • Glyceryl caprylate and caprylhydroxamic acid
  • Since phenonip and germall have different components you can use both if you want a product to be bulletproof. I often do this (germall goes to cool down phase). Regarding lip products, I don’t think germall can be incorporated into an anhydrous balm but if it’s an emulsion you can try. Regarding selling, I think that if you decide to sell you should prioritize safety as much as you can. I assume you buy ingredients from repackagers not from suppliers directly. Ingredients sold by repackagers are compromised from the day one. Big companies can use Euxyl PE 9010 and run PET many times to see if it works (and for them it does) but the same 9010 won’t work for someone who is making at home. Don’t get me wrong, germall is a decent preservative, but have a look into combining it with phenonip in some products.

    If I combine them, I wouldn't use both at maximum usage rate, or would I? 0.5% Germall Plus is okay to combine with 1% Phenonip? Or too much? I really like the idea of combining preservatives actually. 
  • Formaldehide.

    We have no restrictions, so, in our country drinking water also contains formaldehide.

    Less than 1$/kg, and works like a charm.

  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    Paprik said:
    I'm really struggling with getting a nice preservative. 
    I've started with Liquid Germall Plus, but I'm afraid some of my customers won't and don't like the fact, that it's formaldehyde donor. 
    So was looking for something different. I found Euxyl PE 9010. I like it, but the smell is just nah. A new one I tried was Geogard Ultra TM (Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (and) Calcium Gluconate), it's a powder, seems to be super nice and easy to use, but it messes up with my pH. So I tried Microcare DB, seems also nice, it's EcoCert, BUT the smell! So it's hard to find one without any smell, "scary" names like Parabens or Formaldehyde and won't mess up with my products. 

    But as for me, I'm using Liquid Germall Plus the most. 
    Also thinking about Naticide - but I know there's a smell to it. And it's expensive. 

    What do you think about Potassium Sorbate & Sodium Benzoate? 
    Certainly a wide range of anticipated levels of efficacy in your suggestions - mostly on the poor side.   Not knowing the product category -I'll offer that you should assemble a combination of  preservatives (with a chelator like EDTA)  that SHOULD work and confirm with PET.  None of the sytems you desceibed are likely to be as effective as Germall Plus esp. vs Gram negative bacteria.  Organic acids require an appropriately acidic pH and are weak preservatives, esp re. Gram negative bacteria.  Natacide is a combination of unidentified (unknown?) "natural" materials.  Even if effective - you're offered no assurance that batch to batch compostions will be identical to that you qualified. 
    Why not use phenoxyethanol in combination?
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Natacide is natamycin, an antifungal antibiotic used for example on cheese.
    Naticide is a mystery blend by Sinerga with a basically empty SDS and where only the stuff not present in it is publicly available. I don't trust such things...
  • PhilGeis said:
    Paprik said:
    I'm really struggling with getting a nice preservative. 
    I've started with Liquid Germall Plus, but I'm afraid some of my customers won't and don't like the fact, that it's formaldehyde donor. 
    So was looking for something different. I found Euxyl PE 9010. I like it, but the smell is just nah. A new one I tried was Geogard Ultra TM (Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (and) Calcium Gluconate), it's a powder, seems to be super nice and easy to use, but it messes up with my pH. So I tried Microcare DB, seems also nice, it's EcoCert, BUT the smell! So it's hard to find one without any smell, "scary" names like Parabens or Formaldehyde and won't mess up with my products. 

    But as for me, I'm using Liquid Germall Plus the most. 
    Also thinking about Naticide - but I know there's a smell to it. And it's expensive. 

    What do you think about Potassium Sorbate & Sodium Benzoate? 
    Certainly a wide range of anticipated levels of efficacy in your suggestions - mostly on the poor side.   Not knowing the product category -I'll offer that you should assemble a combination of  preservatives (with a chelator like EDTA)  that SHOULD work and confirm with PET.  None of the sytems you desceibed are likely to be as effective as Germall Plus esp. vs Gram negative bacteria.  Organic acids require an appropriately acidic pH and are weak preservatives, esp re. Gram negative bacteria.  Natacide is a combination of unidentified (unknown?) "natural" materials.  Even if effective - you're offered no assurance that batch to batch compostions will be identical to that you qualified. 
    Why not use phenoxyethanol in combination?
    Thank you for your reply. 
    I am not surprised, that Germall + would be the best. However, if ppl find out, it's formaldehyde release, they are like WHOOOOOW, slow down. Even those the input is really small and I believe it's safe. 

    Phenoxyethanol - what would you combine it with? I'm using Euxyl PE  9010, but I'm kind of annoyed by its smell.

    I'm starting my Diploma in formulating soon, so hopefully I'll know more and better soon :)
  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    Paprik - if you can tke the smell, with 9010 - mayte some Benzoate if the pH workand EDTA.  What's the product
  • PhilGeis said:
    Paprik - if you can tke the smell, with 9010 - mayte some Benzoate if the pH workand EDTA.  What's the product
    Ok, will search it up, thank you! ( And yes, I use EDTA ). 
    Usually it's a cream or serum. So pH around 5-5.5 if that suits my actives. But also trying to formulate facial cleansers now, where the smell doesn't bother me at all. It's mostly on leave on products. 
  • I use 9010 + Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol.
    I don't recall 9010 having an odor.  Maybe you got a bad batch?
    In any case... PE Alcohol has a lovely rose fragrance...so it might cover the odor you are having with the 9010.

    It blends well with about any floral scent, and especially well with rose absolute.  :)  
  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    I use 9010 + Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol.
    I don't recall 9010 having an odor.  Maybe you got a bad batch?
    In any case... PE Alcohol has a lovely rose fragrance...so it might cover the odor you are having with the 9010.

    It blends well with about any floral scent, and especially well with rose absolute.  :)  
    Why phenyl ethyl alcohol?  It targets that same bugsas phenoxyethyl  only less effetively and you still have a fungal gap. 
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited November 2020
    PhilGeis said:
    I use 9010 + Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol.
    I don't recall 9010 having an odor.  Maybe you got a bad batch?
    In any case... PE Alcohol has a lovely rose fragrance...so it might cover the odor you are having with the 9010.

    It blends well with about any floral scent, and especially well with rose absolute.  :)  
    Why phenyl ethyl alcohol?  It targets that same bugsas phenoxyethyl  only less effetively and you still have a fungal gap. 
    Was going after mold, which I was told 9010 had a gap on.  I was not able to use the typical mold inhibitors due to needing to keep the pH around 6.

  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited November 2020
    @emma1985 you can use both at max. These two don’t have same components. You shouldn’t be mixing penonip and euxyl pe9010 at max, as you will go beyond the limit with phenoxyethanol (unless you add less of each and that’s a grey area unless you going to get it through preservative efficacy test) but I am not aware of any reasons why you shouldn’t mix phenonip and germall. Just make sure you add phenonip to heated waterphase and germall to cool down.
  • @emma1985 you can use both at max. These two don’t have same components. You shouldn’t be mixing penonip and euxyl pe9010 at max, as you will go beyond the limit with phenoxyethanol (unless you add less of each and that’s a grey area unless you going to get it through preservative efficacy test) but I am not aware of any reasons why you shouldn’t mix phenonip and germall. Just make sure you add phenonip to heated waterphase and germall to cool down.
    Thank you so so much, again! 🙃
  • I used Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate , Silver Citrate and Citric Acid, and add another Bacillus Ferment & Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate  for some extra fungus protection . Very well preserve system (my opinion) Except now everybody and their grandma bashing formaldehyde releasers and SH is one. :-(  :# 
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    If the pH of the end product is below 6.0:

    Gluconolactone + Sodium Benzoate + Phenethyl Alcohol as preservatives, and
    Sodium Glutamate Diacetate + Propanediol and/or Pentylene Glycol as potentiators
    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
  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited December 2020
    If the pH of the end product is below 6.0:

    Gluconolactone + Sodium Benzoate + Phenethyl Alcohol as preservatives, and
    Sodium Glutamate Diacetate + Propanediol and/or Pentylene Glycol as potentiators
    Is Sodium Phytate and acceptable sub for Sodium Glutamate Diacetate?  I already use Propanediol in everything.  Thank you @MarkBroussard.

    Is that doubling up the chelator?  (Gluconolactone and Sodium Glutamate Diacetate)

    Will this work...if pH is just barely below 6?  Thinking 5.5-5.8?
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Graillotion

    Well, not necessarily ... Sodium Phytate can be used a both a pH adjuster and a chelating agent, but I think Sodium Glutamate Diacetate may be a bit better as a chelating agent.

    Yes, Gluconolactone and SGD both function as chelating agents, but neither is expensive an no harm is having both, particularly since Gluconolactone is part of the Sodium Benzoate blend and is not a single, solo ingredient.
    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
  • Perry said:
    DMDM Hydantoin
    Do you use it alone or in combination with some other compound/s?
  • @emma1985, phenonip is a blend of several parabens and phenoxyethanol and needs heating to reduce possibility of some of the parabens migration to oil phase. It’s generally quite robust. Germall has some limitations: heat sensitive, not allowed under some regulations for applications on large areas, and if I am not wrong there are some limitations for spray products. Germall is great with surfactants (doesn’t mess up viscosity) and in formulations where transparency is important.
    1- Can phenonip be used in purely water-based serum? If so, in what manner (since it's oil-soluble)?
    2- If used in a surfactant based system, how can it be (again) incorporated? Into the surfactant or the water-phase? Would it need heating?

    TIA.
  • Formaldehide.

    We have no restrictions, so, in our country drinking water also contains formaldehide.

    Less than 1$/kg, and works like a charm.

    Which formaldehyde and at what percentage, specifically?
  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    edited December 2020
    Think fFormaldehyde releasers - such as Germall, Suttocide, Glydant - would be preferable to formalin.  
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @ifamuj - It depends on the formula but yes sometimes. But in some systems it was used in combination with parabens. 

  • Does anyone have experience working with Euxyl K712? How effective is it, combined with trisodium EDTA? Thank you
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    EiraSh said:
    ...Euxyl K712? How effective is it, combined with trisodium EDTA?...
    As I already mentioned, this is a standard preservative system for pharmaceutical preparations (water based solutions and oral preparations) and is usually combined with a chelate such as EDTA. It's fairly effective for 'edibles' but I wouldn't rely on it for room-temp storage over more than a few months without proper testing. It's a more or less well tolerated minimal requirement combo which isn't suitable for ad hoc (= DIY) cosmetics and requires thorough testing and the addition of further hurdles if used in a new formulation. BTW several pharmaceutical preparations using this have to be kept at 4°C and/or have a shelf life of a few weeks if no other 'preservatives' (e.g. ethanol, polyols) are added. Also, dispenser systems or tubes should be used instead of pots.
  • I'm also looking to add a preservative after watching Phil and Perry's talk which I found very useful.
    I mainly dabble in creams so the pH range around 5.5. Up until now I just used Lexgard Natural (glyceryl caprylate / glyceryl undecylenate.
    I will be doing some tests very soon but thought while the subject is hot I'll pop the question in case I can either improve beforehand or not waste time with poor options during tests as they are lengthy. 
    On hand I have Lexgard Natural as mentioned, Geogard 221 (benzyl alcohol and dehydroacetic acid) and will look into Liquid germall plus (propylene glycol, diazolidinyl urea and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate) it seems a winner above.
    Does anyone see an issue with a combination of any 2 of these.
    Also another question. When it was mentioned to use 2 preservatives I first presumed, ok go half and half. But am I right by saying I will need the proper recommended dosage of each because they are different ingredients.
    Thanks.
  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    Yes - please use the appropriate recommended concentrations.
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