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Cosmetic Preservatives

Preservatives for every cosmetic application.

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COSMOS approved

Cosmetic preservatives allowed by COSMOS ORGANIC and COSMOS NATURAL standards are considered more skin friendly than some traditional preservatives. Most are naturally occurring in botanicals and so are considered by the certifying bodies to be suitable for products marketed as natural.

Preservative free

Our preservative free multifunctional cosmetic additives work synergistically to give broad-spectrum antimicrobial protection. These systems represent an alternative to traditional cosmetic preservatives allowing self-preserving formulations thereby reducing irritant and sensitizing potentials.

Paraben free

Paraben esters are highly effective antimicrobial agents and generally considered to be safe for use in cosmetic preservation. Through bad publicity however, many customers demand that their products be free of all parabens. The Iscaguard range offers a number of paraben free preservative systems and our product development and research team are always seeking new paraben alternatives.

MI free

We pride ourselves on our range of safe, effective, MI free preservatives. Although Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) is an approved cosmetic preservative, it has recently come under intense scrutiny for its skin sensitising side effects. The Iscaguard range has CMIT/MIT free alternatives for all manner of cosmetic formulations.

COSMOS Approved Cosmetic Preservatives
Preservative COSMOS compliant
Benzoic acid and its salts Yes
Benzyl alcohol Yes
Dehydroacetic acid and its salts Yes
Salicylic acid and its salts Yes
Sorbic acid and its salts Yes


According to the latest COSMOS ORGANIC and COSMOS NATURAL standards, the following preservatives are allowed in cosmetic products certified as Natural and Organic.


Cosmetic preservatives are grouped by formulation types.


Leave-on cosmetic formulations include creams, lotions and makeup. This group has the strictest regulatory requirements as the potential for irritation is the greatest.


Rinse-off products include shampoo, hair conditioners and hand wash. These products have limited contact time with the skin so a broader spectrum of preservatives are available for even the most difficult to preserve formulations.

Wet wipes

Wet wipes that are designed to cleanse the skin are governed by cosmetic regulations. The preservative systems must be robot enough to resist multiple contamination events in multiuse packs.

ISO 14001
ISO 14001
ISO 9001
ISO 9001

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