Preservatives in cosmetic products

Why do creams contain preservatives?

Bacteria and molds love cosmetics
Creams contain many substances (such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, oils and water) that provide the basis for microorganisms to live and grow. The pH values in creams, which are almost neutral for healthy skin, and storage in a warm and humid bathroom also contribute to their proliferation.

Cosmetics must be safe and durable

  • It is a legal requirement that cosmetics must be safe. This means that they must not infect the consumer with bacteria or other microorganisms.
  • A cosmetic preparation that is not adequately protected against spoilage can irritate the skin, for example through the excretion of microorganisms.

Preservatives are therefore used to develop a high-quality product with a stable and long shelf life. There are many different substances that have preservative properties and thus prevent the proliferation of undesirable bacteria, yeasts and molds.
However, finding the right preservative is not easy.

What criteria must a preservative fulfil?

  • It should be effective, but at the same time does not cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.
  • It must be compatible with the other substances used.
  • It must be stable and must not change.
  • It must not have an unpleasant smell.

Avoidance of critical candidates

Synthetic preservatives are particularly problematic due to their high allergy potential, hormone activity or proven harmful effects on the human organism.

Critical preservatives in cosmetics are

  • Parabens
  • Organohalogen compounds
  • Formaldehyde releasers

Unfortunately, these critical preservatives are still used in (not only cheap) cosmetic products. In the following paragraph, we shed light on the harmful side effects of these preservatives.

Parabens = The biggest concern regarding parabens in cosmetic products is that some of them can act like hormones in the body (like oestrogens, i.e. female sex hormones) and thus influence the hormone balance. This can have fatal effects, especially on the developing organism of children. Caution! "Sun creams for kids" are often particularly high in critical substances. Parabens are sometimes also found in certified organic cosmetic products.

Organohalogen compounds = Organohalogen hydrocarbons are very easily absorbed by fatty tissue and accumulate there. They are very difficult to break down. They can also be highly damaging to the climate. All organ halogen compounds also have a high potential to damage the nerves.
Formaldehyde releaser = Elevated formaldehyde exposure over months or years impairs lung function and increases the risk of chronic respiratory diseases. Persistent damage to the mucous membranes caused by formaldehyde favors the development of tumors in the nasopharynx.

We do not use any of these critical preservatives in our JOHN VOSS products.

Good tolerated preservatives

  • Sodium benzoate compounds = these occur in nature and are found in plants and honey, for example. They are easily soluble in water and are also suitable as preservatives for cosmetics and food products.

As gentle as possible - as less as possible.

When developing our products, we concluded that a good balance between minimizing the use of compatible preservatives and simultaneously protecting against spoilage contributes to the high quality of the product. We also considered the many years of experience of the manufacturers. The compatibility of our creams has been extensively tested in comprehensive tests. The "Cosmetic Analysis" portal recognizes all JOHN VOSS products with a green label. Our day and night creams have also been tested by independent laboratories and awarded the "EXCELLENT" quality rating by the Dermatest foundation. 

Last but not least, our ingenious airless dispensers with hygienic dosing also contribute to the microbiological safety of the product! More on this in our next article "Airless dispensers".


Tags: #Ingredients

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