Body and Face St Cyrus Ltd
TELEPHONE ORDERS: +44 (0)1561 378811

Preservation Update

As reported in 2011, The EU Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) has concluded that parabens are safe to use at the established limits of 0.4% for Methylparaben and Ethylparaben or up to 0.8% combined with Propylparaben and Butylparaben safe at a combined maximum concentration of 0.19%. These four are the popular ones used in most ‘broad spectrum’ antifungal / antimicrobial preservative blends. It should be noted that methyl and ethyl are the most water soluble and effective.

With natural preservatives, industry comment in happi vol. 48 (5) of 2011 suggests that there is no historical data to prove their stability and they may require to be used in higher concentrations with formulation modification to compensate. Quoting from the article “A well balanced preservative system containing different active ingredients in the right ratios will help protect the product against spoilage and at the same time help to maintain low preservative dosage rates, an important route to ‘responsible’ care for the end-user”.

The article concluded that there will be continued investigation into alternatives to parabens and Body & Face is investigating the use of 1) Optiphen + (Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol and Sorbic Acid) which functions over a broad pH range and 2) D-Glucono-1,5-Lactone/Sodium Benzoate – a multi-functional, broad spectrum preservative specially designed for moisturisation and preservation of cosmetic products. At concentrations of below 1% this can be used in combination with other preservatives – the so-called ‘hurdle’ effect.


Also under consideration is the use of Ecosolution packaging – airless, recyclable bottles reducing the need for preservation and protecting contents from contamination. These are already in use for our Naturally for Men range. Tubes will offer the same protection.

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