Cosmetic Preservatives

Preservative Free Additives

Preservative FreeIscaguard® PFA is a “preservative free additive” with a synergistic combination of multifunctional cosmetic raw materials with broad-spectrum antimicrobial protection. Iscaguard® PFA may be classed as a “preservative free system”. This system represent an alternative to traditional cosmetic preservatives allowing self-preserving formulations thereby reducing irritant and sensitizing potentials.

Iscaguard® PFA is stable and active over a pH range of 4 to 8. Typical use levels for Iscaguard® PFA range from 0.5 % to 1.5 %. It is synergistic in combination with chelating agents.

Regulatory StatusIscaguard® PFA is permitted worldwide for use in both leave-on and rinse-off personal care products.

EU – allowed without restriction (not listed on Annex VI)
USA – allowed without restriction
Japan – allowed without restrictions

Phenethyl alcohol is judged safe for use in cosmetics to 1.0 %. Based on the CIR review for phenethyl alcohol and the good toxicity assessment for caprylyl glycol Iscaguard® PFA should be safe in cosmetics up to 1.8 %

INCI name: phenethyl alcohol, caprylyl glycol

Using Iscaguard® PFA Iscaguard® PFA is particularly suitable for emulsions, oil and surfactant based formulations and may be used in aqueous formulations up to its solubility limit i.e. 0.6 %. Iscaguard® PFA can be added to formulation at temperatures up to 80 ºC, prolonged heating at elevated temperatures is not recommended.

Physical/Chemical Characteristics
Property Result
Caprylyl glycol 35 - 45 (%)
Phenethyl alcohol 55 - 65 (%)
Appearance Clear colourless liquid
Odour Mild (rose-like)
Density 0.98 g/ml
pH (0.5% in water) 4.6

Physical/Chemical Characteristics

Solubility of Iscaguard® PFA (% w/w @ 25ºC)

Solvent (%)
Water 0.60
Ethanol > 50
Glycols Soluble

Antimicrobial activity of Iscaguard® PFA
Microorganism Minimum inhibitory
Pseudomonas aeruginosa 0.10 - 0.30
Escherichia coli 0.10 - 0.20
Staphylococcus aureus 0.175 – 0.2
Bacillus cereus 0.20
Enterococcus faecium 0.20
Candida albicans 0.175 – 0.25
Saccharomyces cerevisiae 0.10
Aspergillus niger 0.175