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Consequences of Preservative Restrictions in Cosmetic Products


Preservatives are included within the formulations of many cosmetic and personal care products to control unwanted microbial growth and achieve adequate product durability. However, some of the more traditionally used preservatives have been restricted or banned due to concerns over toxicity and sensitisation – MIT / MCIT and iso-parabens being examples of this.

Preservative systems are primarily included within cosmetic products to control microbial growth after manufacture, however they can also mask contamination issues that can be present during the manufacturing process. The reduced pallet of preservatives being used means that microorganisms within the manufacturing environment have an increased opportunity to develop resistance and become tolerant to efforts to eradicate them.

It is increasingly important that companies who have contaminated products identify the microorganism and source so that a targeted plan of action can be established. An ad-hoc approach using regular disinfectants within the manufacturing facility is unlikely to provide a full solution. Short term improvements may be experienced, with intermittent high counts causing repeated problems.

MSL can offer a full suite of services to investigate and solve microbial contamination issues. This can involve site audits and investigations, microbial testing of samples points throughout the manufacturing facility, identification of microorganisms and studies into effective remedial measures.

For further information contact angela.davies@msl.io