Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Preservative mixture

  • Preservative mixture

    Posted by Dilfre on July 24, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Can formaldehyde donors, parabens and benzalconium cloride be mixed to obtain a blend that gives a broad protection against bacteria, yeast and mold growth? How EDTA helps, it can be in the mix too? 

    Dilfre replied 7 years, 10 months ago 3 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Microformulation

    Member
    July 24, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    You could produce a blend, but there would be some concerns;

    Firstly, depending upon your country, these ingredients have absolute limits delineated in the regs. You would have to be familiar with the regs and then comply.

    Secondly, these combinations already exist from the distributors. They are time tested, supporting documentation and technical support is provided, they provide third party validation and are manufactured under cGMP. When you factor in the extra manufacturing steps to produce these combinations yourself, it is doubtful you are getting any real savings.

    Lastly, with exceptions, most of us have limited microbiology practice or technical training in microbiology. As such you should utilize these specially designed products from highly qualified sources.

    Like I said, these combinations exist. Congratulations, you are re-inventing the wheel and there are better areas to expend our limited time and assets on.

    EDTA is left out of these combinations for many reasons. An important one is flexibility. If a client has sustainability issues with EDTA your combination is invalid and you will have difficulty using a replacement that is perceived to be more sustainable.

  • Dilfre

    Member
    July 24, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks for your repply, I just trying to find something that works in most new formulations

  • Microformulation

    Member
    July 25, 2016 at 12:29 am

    You will not find one preservative and/or preservative mixture that will preserve each and every Formulation. This is a simplistic approach. Also, you need to do some reading as the preservative is only one aspect of a preservative system.

  • Dilfre

    Member
    July 25, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    thanks for your fast reply, I am reading about it, but preservative application is a complex task. Do you know any article that help me to make my choices for different formulations? eg. w/o or o/w emulsions, shampoos, liquid soap, etc.

  • Bobzchemist

    Member
    July 25, 2016 at 3:11 pm
  • Bobzchemist

    Member
    July 25, 2016 at 3:12 pm
  • Dilfre

    Member
    July 25, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    thanks Bob, you  will say I`m kidding but I was waiting for your reply…very kind from you.

  • Microformulation

    Member
    July 25, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Those are both great books and great references.

    Here is also a presentation that David Steinberg did for SCC. The usage trends of the preservatives is out of date since the presentation is from 2012. However these usage trends have been updated since then and even posted recently in this forum.

    My advice in learning about preservatives would be first to learn the functional “groups” (for example Parabens, Formaldehyde donors, Organic acids, etc.) and some representative raw materials. This is covered well in the presentation. There is also guidance of the max levels and appropriate usage.

    Once you know these functional groups I think you will see that any number of distributors be it Schulke, Ashland, Lonza, etc. will have a line of preservatives which will serve the needs of almost every Formulation. You may find that you buy 4 to 5 separate products, but these are generally available in those lines.

    Look at the Cosmetic Market as well as your potential clients. In this step you will begin to see the market forces (paraben free, etc.) that will contribute to your preservative selection. You may have a demand for naturally compliant preservatives. Be pragmatic though. You do need to address your clients concerns, but NEVER let market forces influence you to create a compromised preservative system. In some Formulations for example, parabens are simply the best solution.

    Next, learn and follow the general concept of the “Hurdle Technique.” Again this is covered in the link. Simply, the preservative chosen is not the sole piece of a preservative system. Other factors such as pH, chelants (that will answer some of your EDTA questions), packaging and other issues should be taken into account.

    Once you have your preservative system, move on to the rest of the Formulation. Preservation is just one factor of many in creating a successful formulation. Don’t concentrate on the trees and miss seeing the forest is a great way to prioritize your efforts.

    Lastly, once you have a final Formulation, don’t hesitate to test your preservative system with outside challenge testing.

    We have an obligation to create a safe product. This can be done with the raw materials available and while meeting marketing demands without cutting corners. Don’t feel free to compromise on this safety.

  • Dilfre

    Member
    July 25, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    waw! thanks for your profesional advice. This is more than help, I feel companionship in this important subject … again thanks

Log in to reply.