Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Shelf-Life: Lipstick without Preservatives

  • Shelf-Life: Lipstick without Preservatives

    Posted by corruptedvodka on September 14, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I’ve been seeing some lipstick formulations without any preservatives.

    The lipstick is a mixture of various oils and waxes. No water in the formulation. I wonder if it is alright not to add any preservatives. If so, how long will be the shelf-life of this kind of product? 

    Zolveria replied 6 years, 9 months ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • OldPerry

    September 14, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    The question of whether you have to add preservatives or not depends on what your microbial testing tells you. In general, there is a low probability of growth in an anhydrous product. That is why some companies don’t add it. The stability from a microbial standpoint could be years. 

    However, there isn’t a no-probability of growth. Consumers can get moisture on a product and microbes could grow at the interface. Or your product could get contaminated during production.

    For these reasons it makes sense to add a preservative even to anhydrous formulas.  And the other thing to consider from a scientific standpoint, is that there are zero negative effects of including a preservative “just in case.”  

    The only reason for avoiding preservatives is to support a fear marketing campaign. Unfortunately, many consumers buy into this fear so I understand why companies do it. 

  • Bobzchemist

    September 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    For many, many years even the big companies didn’t preserve their lipsticks. In today’s litigious society, that practice had to go. Everything will depend on micro testing and your tolerance for risk against lawsuits.

  • Zolveria

    September 29, 2017 at 12:43 am

    yes i agree. Does anyone remember the 80’s and rancid lipstick smell lol..
    thank god to antioxidant to prolong this issue and preserves.. to avoid that white yuk that forms <span>:blush:</span>

  • Zolveria

    September 29, 2017 at 12:45 am

    If wrong someone correct  me shelf life depend on the life span of the oils. i think if one of your oil have  a shelf life of 7 month and one 12 that would cut down life span….
     Chime in @Bobzchemist 

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