Preservatives are the ingredients that protect personal care products from the growth of the microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and molds. A preservative also helps protect the product against damage and degradation caused by exposure to oxygen. Without preservatives, personal care products can become contaminated, leading to product spoilage and if used on the skin possibly cause irritation or infections. Microbial contamination of products can cause significant problems.
Most people probably appreciate that it is an essential requirement for manufacturers to sell safe products that are hygienic when used according to the instructions and that the product retains its integrity during the required shelf life of the product.
Some companies claim that they use certain “natural” ingredients which they claim safely preserve their products. However, whether that is the case or not can only be proven by a microbiologist carrying out a challenge test on the product. A challenge test provides a standard test regime which establishes whether the product is safely preserved under normal conditions of use against the microorganisms that could be harmful to user and product stability. The fact that a particular “natural” ingredient has preservative properties does not necessarily mean that it is sufficient to provide adequate preservation to the finished product during the normal shelf life of the product. At LaRocca Skincare we are constantly looking at any “natural preservative” out in the market and do challenge test and few different types of micro testing and we have not found any natural preservative that successfully preserves our products and keeps the products stable or fresh.