Preservative options


Could you throw in your best, easy-to-use and versatile, broad-spectrum and most importantly EFFECTIVE preservative options? Along with their percentage usages?

I find DMDM hydantoin and phenoxyethanol easiest to find but I believe they cannot be used independently and on their own. Any suggestions as to what these can be combined with to achieve broad-spectrum activity? 



  • I also use phenonip (0.5% in heated oil phase and 0.5% in heated water phase) in my emulsions but since it's oil-soluble, I believe I cannot use it in water-based serums. Am I correct? Any idea on how to work around that?
  • PhilGeisPhilGeis Member, Professional formulator
    What is the product?  Rinse-off or leave on?

    DMDM H and Phenoxy are used to target bacteria - esp. Gram negative. I'd combine with parabens or, if the pH works or a surfactant product, an organic acid salt like Na benzoate.  If rinse off - consider CMIT.

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