The most common strategy to keep your products free from harmful microorganisms is using preservatives, either synthetic or natural
Preservatives play a crucial role in keeping our cosmetics safe. Many of us don't think about our cosmetics as products that can spoil or grow bacteria, fungi, and yeast. The most common strategy to keep your products free from harmful microorganisms is using preservatives, either synthetic or natural.
Without the assistance of preservatives, our cosmetics could harbour harmful microorganisms and deteriorate. A preservative must remain efficacious throughout the product’s lifetime, from production through consumer use. Preservatives must also be able to effectively prevent the growth of diverse microorganisms, which also have the capacity to adapt.
Due to regulations and safety concerns, the number of preservative options allowable for cosmetic use is small. While the FDA doesn’t have specific rules applying to cosmetic preservatives, the EU has strict regulations and is globally influential on preservative usage. There are several factors that impact allowable cosmetic preservatives including allergic concerns, consumer perception, and safety.
To further complicate matters, microorganisms are not static, and adapt and change in different environments. So as cosmetic manufacturers are reformulating products, they need to consider that formula and preservative changes can increase risk of microbial growth.
Preservation and process can work together to reduce contamination. Adding preservatives in your products and using good manufacturing processes can help control microorganisms throughout the production process.
These strategies are most effective when paired with an environmental monitoring (EM) program, a proven approach for contamination risk mitigation. EM programs provides a baseline profile of what microorganisms are present in the manufacturing environment.
By routinely sampling and identifying microorganisms, manufacturers can detect possible contaminants and identify sites where there is risk of product contamination. Manufacturing is complex and fast paced, and contamination events have significant impact.
By using effective preservation, good manufacturing process, and environmental monitoring, they can mitigate and remediate contamination quickly.