People often ask us why use preservatives in natural skincare? The answer is... microbes love water! So it is extremely important to make sure your preserving system is highly effective in all water based emulsions, including creams, lotions and body butters.
If you are formulating natural skincare you need to ensure that your products are protected from spoilage, meet any regulatory requirements for your intended markets and are ultimately safe for your end consumer.
All personal care products containing water face the challenge of dealing with microbes. This is where preservatives become an essential ingredient in protecting your product. Microbes can appear in many different forms and can spoil your product and/or create skin irritations.
When choosing a preserving system, it must be robust and inhibit the growth of all types of microbes, from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Bacillus (Gram-positive), Salmonella and E-Coli (Gram-negative), to moulds, yeasts and fungi.
Here at Sage we offer two natural preservatives that provide varying levels of protection against certain types of microbes.
Leucidal is a natural antimicrobial peptide originally derived from lactic acid bacteria. This natural preservative restricts the growth of micro-organisms including bacteria and fungi.
The water soluble liquid is heat stable to 70°C. It is colour-less and scent-free and is most active in a pH range of 3-8 therefore it is effective over a wide range of cosmetic and personal care applications. Its recommended use is a range of 2-4%.
A unique attribute of Leucidal is that it also increases the moisturisation rate of cream formulations and improves the cosmetic skin results. It is commonly paired with Phytocide Elderberry to create a strong natural preserving system.
Phytocide Elderberry is a natural antimicrobial derived from the super fruit Elderberry. It inhibits Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, moulds and yeasts and is idea for use in most cosmetic applications.
It is an oil soluble liquid and therefore not effective in water based sprays or mists, but performs well in emulsions, gels and haircare products. It is heat stable to 75°C and is best suited to a pH range of 3-9. The recommended usage levels are 1-5% and utilising a co-preservative, such as Leucidal, will increase the preserving system efficacy.
An added benefit of Phytocide Elderberry is its multi-functional action. The rich anti-oxidant levels provide anti-ageing properties and a mild anti-inflammatory effect.
If you'd like to find out more or make a product using these preservatives then we invite you to join us in an upcoming Natural Skincare workshop. You can review our schedule online and book a ticket today!