SEPAWA CONGRESS 2019

Pressure-free preservatives: Symrise and DuPont present personal care alternatives

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Smart blending and naturally-derived alternatives can give strong preservative alternatives for personal care manufacturers (Getty Images)
Smart blending and naturally-derived alternatives can give strong preservative alternatives for personal care manufacturers (Getty Images)

Related tags: Symrise, Dupont, Preservatives, Natural cosmetics, Formulation, Ph


Rising consumer concern and regulatory changes have left personal care formulators with a shrinking portfolio of acceptable preservatives but blends and naturally-derived alternatives provide industry opportunities, say Symrise and DuPont.

Speaking on the first day of the SEPAWA Congress 2019 in Berlin, representatives from Symrise and DuPont Nutrition and Biosciences presented alternatives to traditional preservatives for use in the personal care category.

Increasing regulatory and consumer pressure – ‘a need for more molecules’

Bernd Heinken, technical director for micro protection EMEA at Symrise, said the personal care industry was clearly under pressure to find alternatives to traditional preservatives, particularly as fewer and fewer were considered acceptable.

“There is a lot of negative press and impacts on preservatives, from consumers and authorities; there is also increasing regulatory pressure. This is a never-ending story, so we’ll see continued discussions,”​ Heinken told attendees during his presentation in the Personal Care Forum for Innovation stream.

Dr. Bahar Azimipour, global marketing director for DuPont Personal Care, agreed and said a large amount of this pressure was consumer-driven.

“According to a study by Mintel, consumers associate naturalness with safety and efficacy and as such are taking interest in the raw materials in their cosmetic products. And they are increasingly demanding natural and sustainable ingredients for personal care products,”​ Azimipour told attendees during her presentation.

In response, she said formulators and brand owners had developed products with natural labels and therefore demands for ingredient naturalness had increased, including preservatives.

“There is a need for more molecules and new actives to be made available, especially natural ones.”

Blending preservatives to be ‘independent of pH’

Heinken said that over the past six years, phenoxyethanol and benzyl alcohol had remained the most popular and widely-used preservatives in the global personal care industry, either alone or blended, according to data from Mintel’s Global New Product Database (GNPD). Organic acids had also been widely used.

Use of aromatic alcohols and organic acids as preservatives, however, was “very much limited in terms of pH”, ​he said. But with some careful blending, he said this issue could be overcome.

Symrise had developed two blends “independent of pH”,​ Heinken said. The first was based on phenoxyethanol and also contained two multifunctional moisturisers Hydrolite CG and SymClariol. This blend worked in formulations with a pH range of 3-10. The second was based on benzyl alcohol and contained two multifunctional ingredients SymSave and Hydrolite CG and worked in a pH range of 3-9. Both blends were globally compliant, he said, and both showed good results in wet wipes.

“There are a lot of opportunities in combining and formulating with alternative preservation when you look into the highly-discussed actives,”​ he said.

Promise in ethyl lauroyl arginate as personal care preservative

Azimipour said while there were many natural preservation substances and blends on the market, there was “no silver bullet”​ that provided a ‘drop in’ replacement for traditional options. Importantly, it was also difficult and costly for new ingredients or substances to gain approval for safe use in personal care products, she said.

DuPont, however, had developed a range of three naturally-derived preservatives under its Neolone brand using ethyl lauroyl arginate, made from non-essential amino acid l-arginine; lauric acid from palm or kern oil; and ethanol from fermented sugars. The preservative was already approved for safe use under Annex V of the European Cosmetics Regulation and certified by COSMOS as made according to the Green Chemistry principals.

Azimipour said the Neolone Bio preservatives, available in liquid or powder format, could be used in a wide range of personal care products, including leave-on and rinse-off formulations, in pH levels up to 5.5.

“Neolone Bio is the newest addition to a new range of active ingredients and preservatives,”​ she said.

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