Preservatives are defined as “substances which are exclusively or mainly intended to inhibit the development of micro-organisms in the cosmetic product”. Natural or synthetic ingredients, they are added to a wide range of products, from foods to pharmaceuticals, to prevent spoilage – whether from microbial growth or undesirable chemical changes. They are essential in personal care and cosmetic products to stop products being damaged by microorganisms and to protect the product from inadvertent contamination by the consumer during use.
Acting as the antibiotics of the cosmetic industry, they keep products from developing unsightly changes or spoiling, as well as protecting consumers themselves. Without them, cosmetics would have a much shorter shelf life, which would ultimately impact day to day skin care and beauty routines. For example, without preservatives, users could not take their favourite makeup or daily moisturising cream away on holiday with the