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The ins and outs of anhydrous preservation!

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

With all natural product formulations on the steady rise there is a growing need to keep ingredients in formulations to a minimal. I understand why, natural formulations are what got me interested in cosmetic formulation. It is true anhydrous formulations do not need preservation IF and only if they will NEVER be exposed to water!!



What does this mean?? Products like a face oil or body oil, likely be packaged in a bottle with a dropper or airless pump bottle where the chance of a consumer getting wet fingers or having it unopened and exposing it to humidity are extremely low. In these examples using an antioxidant such as Vitamen E mixed tocopherols or Rosemary Extract would be sufficient and would extend the shelf life of the oils in your product. Products such as Sugar Scrubs or Body Butters which are likely to be packaged in open neck jars and stored in washrooms are at a high risk of customer contamination after purchase. Sugar scrubs are most likely to be kept in the shower, used with wet fingers, or have water droplets splashed into them by accident. Body butters are often applied fresh out of the shower, finger tips are wet or a lid may be left off while the jar is sitting in a bathroom. Showers can get hot and steamy and have the washroom full of humidity and your product is going to then be exposed to water droplets. Bacteria and mold will without a doubt begin to grow!! Some visable some not visable to the naked eye. The consumer applying the product is having their skin exposed to all sorts of bacteria which is not appealing to anyone, nor fair to a customer who has put their trust in your brand. Consumers are often uneducated in the science behind cosmetic formulation, these type of circumstances will negatively effect your brand!


What can you do to prevent this from happening? PRESERVE your high risk products!


What can I use to preserve an anydrous formulation? Not every preservative is oil soluable so you will always need to first check the solubility of your preservative and secondly make sure it meets your brand value expectations.


Phenonip ( INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Methylparaben (and) Ethylparaben (and) Butylparaben (and) Propylparaben (and) Isobutylparaben ) is a compatible selection!


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