Preserving Cosmetics - all you need to know about what the future holds
Our founder, Sara, attended a virtual Preservative Morning on the 8th of March 2022, held by the Society of Cosmetic Chemists of South Africa. The presenters included both local and international chemists who shared their insights and research on where the industry is going when it comes to preserving cosmetics. Here were our take-aways from the morning's presentations:
- Preserving cosmetics is essential. If they are not preserved, they could spoil or be contaminated with bacteria and fungi which could cause skin irritations or infections, particularly on damaged or broken skin or the sensitive areas around the eyes.
- Careful consideration should be given to the type and dose of preservative used to make sure that the risk of using the preservative to users and the environment is kept as low as possible while making sure that the benefits of using it to protect users is high.
- Increasingly, and very encouragingly, additional sustainability considerations like reducing waste, conserving energy and whether the preservative will enable a product that is readily biodegradable, are being taken into account when making the decision of what preservative is going to be used in formulations.
- Cosmetic scientists, formulators and raw material suppliers have accepted that the "trend" towards healthier, more sustainable cosmetics is no longer "niche" and is not going anywhere. Hooray for consumers driving change in the industry!
- Parabens as preservatives are basically not even considered as an option by the industry any longer. This was music to our ears!
- Requests for organic acids that can function as preservatives in formulations is increasing. This is driving research and development and the use of technology to find new and innovative solutions in the search for healthy, sustainable preservatives.
- We heard about ingredients such as lemongrass oil and rasberry ketone as new kids on the healthy, sustainable preservative block.
- Another huge positive was that cosmetic scientists are testing the impact of preservatives on the skin's microbiome acknowledging that a balanced microbiome needs to be protected to achieve healthy skin.
In summary, the decision of what ingredients, and how much of them to use to make sure that cosmetics are safe and that they are sustainable is not a straightforward one. The conversations are however taking into account the considerations that we as clean beauty enthusiasts consider essential to move the industry forward. Here's to the future of clean beauty!