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Sunday, February 4, 2024Experts

The challenge of the preservative system

Le challenge du système conservateur

In 2005, an article in a consumer magazine called into question the use of a class of preservatives in cosmetic products. Parabens could be the cause of cancer or other endocrine disruptions… It was a real tsunami in the cosmetics industry. The repercussions are still being felt today. Estelle Dehier, from Labosphère, explains.

Reading time
~ 7 minutes

Identifying an alternative preservative system based on technical constraints, reformulating existing products in line with regulatory requirements, redoing the associated tests and labelling - all this represents a colossal amount of work and a cost that can weigh heavily on a company.

Criticised preservatives => Reformulation => Greater use of certain preservatives (positive list in the Cosmetics Regulation) => Skin tolerance problems… => Revision of the regulated concentrations of certain preservatives, or even a ban on some of them (e.g. Chloromethylisothiazolinone)… and the loop starts all over again! In the final analysis, we’re a long way from a virtuous circle!

Where do we stand in 2004?
That’s an excellent question, especially after the alert from the Agence de Santé et du Médicament concerning Chlorhexidine and some of its derivatives.
As I’m in charge of listing the raw materials that Labosphère integrates into its development projects, I know just how recurrent the quest for the ‘ideal’ preservative system is!

Far from being trivial, the substitution of preservatives in a formulation can have one or more impacts. Here are a few examples.

Reminder of the definition

According to Article 2 of Regulation 1233/2009, preservatives are substances which are exclusively or mainly intended …

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