Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General Skincare product with NO preservatives

  • Skincare product with NO preservatives

    Posted by Anonymous on March 13, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Can a product containing either all oils or oils and water be preservative free, if done in a true aseptic environment.

    If possible,what grade room will it it have to be?

    MarkBroussard replied 7 years, 8 months ago 14 Members · 19 Replies
  • 19 Replies
  • Aijalon

    March 13, 2016 at 4:30 am

    I think you’ll have to add preservatives to your product for it to last long. Because even though you produce it in a true aseptic environment, when consumers use your product, the conditions will not be the same. However, you don’t necessarily have to use chemical preservatives. There are oils (tea tree oil for example) that have strong antibacterial/fungal property which can serve as preservative to your product.

  • Mike_M

    March 14, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    It CAN, but it’s a bad idea. Of late there have been several instances of poorly preserved products causing all kinds of issues.

  • Bobzchemist

    March 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Even if you make a sterile product, and pack it into sterile packaging in a clean room, you’d still have the problem of contamination after your customer used the product the first time.

    The only way to make this work would be to use single-use/single-dose containers - and even then you’d have to deal with “frugal” consumers wanting to use 1/2 a container and save the rest for later.
    Generally speaking, it’s much safer, much less liability, and much less expensive to use the appropriate preservatives than it is to pander to consumers unjustified chemophobia about preservatives.
  • OldPerry

    March 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Tea Tree oil is a chemical.  In fact, all oils are chemicals.  It is impossible to have a chemical free preservative.

    Help me understand, why would you want to make a skincare product with no preservative?
  • Margaret2

    March 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Maybe the question was asked to appease the people who do not want preserved products, not because Cuorvop personally wants a preservative-free product?

    I know of a woman in my neighborhood who won’t try my lotions & creams because I DO use preservatives. She sent me the MSDS for the preservative I use (liquid Germall plus), and I responded with the LD 50 for various naturally-occurring substances, but I was wasting my time of course. She already believed that what SHE believes is the truth,  period. 
    I guess I should have responded to the MSDS info. I was sent  with something like:
    “I would rather spend the $40 or so on some nice dark chocolate to stick into my gaping maw than buying preservatives for my lotions & creams, but I don’t want to risk making people ill because I am SUCH a nice person (insert laugh track here)!” 
  • PharmaSpain

    March 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    @Margreat I think Perry already knew why the free-preservatives product request hehe

  • OldPerry

    March 17, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    While I suspect that asking for a preservative free product is because of an erroneous belief that preservatives will harm people, but I don’t know that for a fact.

    That’s why I asked why someone would want a preservative free product. I want to understand what specifically is the objection.
  • alwayslearning

    March 18, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    There’s a preservative free cream on the market by a European brand named Avene called Avene Tolerance Extreme Soothing Cream. They have a patented packaging (and I suspect an extremely sterile environment) that allows it. Their ingredient list: Water, Glycerin, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Squalane, Carthamus Tinctorius (Hybrid Safflower) Seed Oil, Cyclomethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Carbomer, Titanium Dioxide. 

  • Bill_Toge

    March 18, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    @Margreat you could also have pointed out that the MSDS is for the concentrated raw material, and asked her how much of it is still relevant when you dilute the raw material by a factor of 100+ (i.e. to its typical usage level in a finished product)

  • mikethair

    March 19, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Old chemistry and very few produce products this way……..we produce liquid body/face washes using saponified oils which are basically “self-preserving.” Always Challenge Tested and come up with top results, and these fit your description of “a product containing either all oils or oils and water be preservative free.”

  • Anonymous

    September 12, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Thank you for all the comments! I know this is a late response.

    I was wondering if it was possible that way. Being able to claim a product as preservative free is a huge deal, although I wouldn’t want to have a preservative that is hidden and the product still be labeled as preservative free. 

    @alwayslearning Thank you for that mention. It is possible! Quite expensive to do, I’m sure. 

  • DavidW

    September 15, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I am working with a customer now who wants a line as natural as possible.  She has brought me samples of products from this company. 

    Below is a typical list of ingredients from them.  My customer insists on not using preservative because this company supposedly doesn’t. 

    Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter,
    Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) Oleosomes*, Caprylic/Capric
    Triglyceride, Olea europea (Olive) Oil*, Glycerin,  Oryza sativa (Rice)
    Extract*, Rosa damascena Flower Water*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba)
    Seed Oil*, Cetearyl Olivate, Leuconostoc ferment filtrate, Mel (Honey),
    Sodium hyaluronate, Theobroma Cacao*, Menyanthes trifoliata (Buckbean)
    Flower Extract, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Salix alba (Willow) Bark
    Extract*, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Borago officinalis
    (Borage) Leaf Extract, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Flower
    Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) flower Extract*, Tilia europaea
    (Linden) Leaf & Flower Extract*, Lavandula stoechas (Spanish
    Lavender) Extract, Arnica montana (Arnica) Extract*, Galactoarabinan,
    Sclerotium gum, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Palmitate,
    Soybean Peroxidase, Superoxide Dismutase, Sodium Phytate, Aroma**,
    Citral, Citronellol, Linalool, Eugenol

  • Microformulation

    September 15, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate is Arborcide OC by Active Concepts. It is a weak preservative marketed as “not really a preservative.” If I took this project on I would stipulate that the products must undergo PET testing before being manufactured.


    Note they list MIC’s, testing of preservative ability. So technically a preservative even though they try to confuse the issue.

  • vitalys

    September 15, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I also suppose that Soybean Peroxidase and Superoxide Dismutase have been added to the mix as antioxidants in order to support Arborcide activity along with Citral which has good antibacterial properties as well, despite they put it as a part of fragrance.

  • Microformulation

    September 15, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I highly doubt that exogenous Citral was added to the product and in fact is listed as part of the EU Fragrance Declaration, being part of their fragrance itself as you rightfully pointed out.

  • OldPerry

    September 15, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Since they are not following proper labeling procedures they could have also just omitted listing the preservative.

  • Bobzchemist

    September 15, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Don’t forget the Sodium Phytate acting as a strong chelant. This could boost the preservative system considerably, if they used enough of it.

  • belassi

    September 15, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    The rose water probably contains phenethyl alcohol as has been pointed out here before now.

  • MarkBroussard

    September 15, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    It looks like they are relying on a combination of ingredients that have weak antimicrobial activity or preservation boosting properties hoping that the combination is robust enough.

    Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate (definitely a Preservative), Glycerin, Honey, Willowbark Extract, Calendula, Sodium Phytate

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