Why there is preservative-free cosmetics？
The birth of preservative-free cosmetics is the fear of flavors and preservatives. Indeed, with the development of the modern cosmetics industry, skin problems caused by cosmetics are also common, especially contact dermatitis (irritation or allergies). A large-scale study in the United States for 64 months (1977-1983) showed that the most common sensitizing ingredients in cosmetics are flavors and preservatives. Due to its very large scale, it even surpasses the well-known p-phenylenediamine (of course, p-phenylenediamine is used only when it is accidentally exposed to the scalp). The cosmetic sensitizing ingredients in this study are ranked: flavors and fragrances > preservatives > p-phenylenediamine (hair dye) > lanolin and its derivatives > thioglycolate (for perm and hair loss) and propylene glycol (for moisturizing) ).
Among the sensitizing properties of preservatives, quaternary ammonium salt-15>imidazolidinyl urea>parabens (parabens, p-hydroxybenzoic acid)>2-bromo-2-nitro-1,3-propanediol (Brow Bohr, BNP) > Formaldehyde.
The history of preservatives and flavors
Cosmetics are increasingly rich in nutrients, both as a “food” for the skin and as a medium for microorganisms such as bacteria and mold. In the process of manufacturing, transportation, storage and use, cosmetics must be stable and not spoiled. Therefore, it is necessary to add antiseptic ingredients.
With the increasing number of sensitive skin, people are increasingly expecting safer, less irritating and hypoallergenic skin care products, which is the direct driving force for preservative-free cosmetics.
If no preservative is added, the microorganisms are likely to grow in the cosmetics.
The role of the essence is mainly sensory improvement. The use of cosmetics itself is a beautiful enjoyment. If the smell is unpleasant, I am afraid it is difficult to have a pleasant feeling. The smell of some cosmetic raw materials may not be liked. At this time, it is necessary to add spices to improve the taste, and even a certain taste can become The embodiment of culture and brand. The original fragrances come from nature, but because of the relationship between cost and performance, artificial synthetic flavors are gradually being developed to replace or supplement them.
Technical route of preservative-free cosmetics
To declare “preservative-free cosmetics”, you must not add at least preservatives and flavors. The problem of flavor is relatively simple, you can not add artificial synthetic flavor, or you can replace it with natural essential oils, botanical ingredients with natural flavor (such as some scented Chinese medicine).
Preservatives are much more complicated. Because no preservatives are added, it is difficult to ensure product stability. But add it, and there are problems ahead. So there are different technical routes, which involve cosmetic raw materials, production and packaging.
(1) Raw materials: The most typical method is to avoid the ingredients listed in the regulations as cosmetic preservatives. This is currently 56 types in China, and other ingredients that have antiseptic effects but are not on the list are used. : Polyols such as octyl glycol (Octylene Glycol, Octanediol), Pentylene Glycol (Pantanediol), and Hexanediol, and p-hydroxyacetophenone, octanoyl hydroxamic acid, and the like. Some ingredients usually have limited antibacterial spectrum (there are not enough microbial species to be inhibited), and they need to be combined with each other or with other anti-corrosion-promoting ingredients such as citric acid. We can call it a “preservative.”
In addition, some natural plant ingredients are not preservatives, but can also achieve bacterial inhibition. For example, Sophora flavescens, berberine / cork, clove, cinnamon, peony, paeonol, astragalus and the like. If these ingredients reach a certain concentration, it is not necessary to add other preservatives. However, plant extracts are usually much more expensive than the preservatives listed above. And the amount of addition is generally higher, not very economical. Some of the colors are deeper and cannot meet the requirements of the appearance of the product. They can only be used on some special products to achieve both skin care and antiseptic effects.
In addition, microorganisms must absorb nutrients in cosmetics to survive. You must have only seen bread moldy, but have never seen stones rot. Because there is no nutrients in the stone for the microbes. It is also a route to make the ingredients of cosmetics simpler and not to use ingredients that are easily used by microorganisms (such as synthetic esters, alcohols, common fatty acids). In other words, in some cases, no added cosmetics may be at the expense of some of the efficacy.
(2) Production process
If you want to add no preservatives to your cosmetics, you must ensure that the products are in a very clean environment during the production process.
(3) Packaging materials
Cosmetics have a long process of transportation, storage and use. The material and form of the package have a major impact on its stability. The anti-corrosion specific to the storage and use stage is mainly the tightness of the packaging material.
Sterilization: There are also some products. If they are resistant to radiation or high temperature, they can be sterilized after the product is made or the raw materials are used. Commonly used is cobalt 60 radiation sterilization. Some plant components are resistant to high temperatures and can be sterilized by UHT (instantaneous ultra-high temperature sterilization) or moist heat. In this way, the product is sterile when shipped from the factory. That is to say, there is no need to add preservatives.
Is significant to claim your product is “no mineral oil”？
Although mineral oil is not perfect, refined mineral oils for cosmetics are safe and have minimal sensitization.
Is there any practical significance in preservative-free cosmetics?
To a certain extent, the absence of added cosmetics has its significance, especially when it comes to sensitive skin. Some ingredients such as flavors and alcohols can cause irritation or allergies. Preservatives can also minimize the chance of adverse reactions.
On the one hand, the use of suitable preservatives can reduce costs and thus allow people to buy available cosmetics at the right price. It can be said that the modern cosmetics industry cannot develop normally without the presence of preservatives.
On the other hand, it is possible to optimize the antiseptic system and even develop new antiseptic ingredients. They are milder and less irritating. From the results of the previous studies, we can find that some of the safety-preserving anti-corrosion ingredients have been fashionable in history and are not very popular today, especially some formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.
Different preservatives can be used for different product types. In rinse-off products, such as shampoos and shower gels, preservatives are quickly washed away and generally do not cause any safety problems. Therefore, even the use of formaldehyde-release preservatives is not a problem. In resident products, especially anti-corrosion ingredients such as masks, which have a penetration-promoting function, such as phenoxyethanol and methylisothiazolinone, care must be taken.
Whether these ingredients cause adverse reactions is also related to the individual condition of each individual. For example, when the skin is damaged, the concentration of ingredients such as alcohol may reach a certain level, which may easily cause irritation. But there is no problem with normal skin. Allergies are completely related to the characteristics of each person’s immune system. If the antiseptic ingredients you use don’t cause your adverse reactions, don’t worry, just use them. In other words: under normal circumstances, we do not necessarily have to pursue skin care products without added flavors and preservatives.
Preservatives have always been a hot issue in the industry. Ausmetics is pursuing a safer, gentler and more effective anti-corrosion system. In recent years, some new systems have also been introduced. Formulators have paid close attention to this issue in recent years. In the case of the situation, Ausmetics began to use a milder and safer anti-corrosion system, which is a very good trend and a good news to consumers.