When Do I Need A Preservative?

When Do I Need A Preservative?

vitamin e preservative

Does my formula need a preservative? Excellent question!

One of the most confusing parts of making your own products is knowing whether or not the product requires a preservative. Let’s break it down by bath, skin, and hair products. But first, it might be helpful to know what a preservative really is.


what is a preservative?

A preservative is used to prevent harmful bacteria and mold forming, which can cause serious illness, as well as a host of other issues. Being an expert in DIY products does mean you need to pay close attention to preservatives.


when are preservatives necessary in homemade beauty products?

Preservatives are always necessary if water is an ingredient. Water makes it possible for water-borne bacteria to make a home in your product. Since water is usually a significant component in most products, especially for hydration, it is important to use a preservative.

Also, in water-free products typically a natural antioxidant like vitamin E (tocopherol/tocopheryl acetate) is used to help prevent rancidity of oils (aka help improve stability and shelf life). So this would be like the “preservative” of an oil product! 


what does a preservative do in my beauty products?

Preservatives protect your customers, your products, and your business. Preservatives are inevitable if you want to have safe skin care products. However, not all preservatives are the same.

There are many different types of preservatives, and we can examine the differences and what goes best in different situations or products. Makesy offers a variety of different alternatives available.

Let's dive into a few of our favorites!


organic propanediol

 Organic propanediol (glycol alternative) is an all natural preservative booster used in skin and hair care products that enhance moisture and make the most of the solubility of active ingredients and functional materials.

This is an alternative to petroleum-based glycols and glycerin and can be used in a wide variety of products like hair care, lotion, sunscreen, makeup and sunscreen.


geogard 221

Geogard 221 is another globally used and natural preservative that is eco-certified to protect cosmetics from bacteria and fungi. It is safe at room temperature, as well as heated, and effective at acidic PH levels. 


cleartec plant derived preservative

all-natural preservative options

In addition, makesy offers two other all natural, multifunctional preservatives:  cleartec  plant derived preservative, best used for oil free formulations, as it will not alter the clarity of the finished product. It is an antimicrobial (effective from pH 2-10) which also functions as a moisturizing agent in skin and hair care products.

And, emulsitec plant-based preservative, a multifunctional ingredient used as a preservative, emulsion stabilizer, and emollient in lotions, creams, conditioners and other types of emulsions. This ingredient is user-friendly because it is active in a wide range of pH (4-8), gentle on the skin, and readily soluble in alcohol, glycerin, glycols, and polar oils.


how to choose the right preservative for your products

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all preservative. With so many choices on the market, it might seem difficult to choose the right one for your product. We feel ya!

The three main things to consider when choosing a preservative are solubility, preservation spectrum, and Ph range. Solubility refers to the way in which it will interact with your water-soluble formulation. The preservation spectrum covers what bacteria and fungi it will cover. And the final PH of the product will determine the efficacy.

It is important to do your due diligence and research, when formulating your own products. We do advise you against parabens in all your products, as the research proves hazardous to consumers. Disclaimer: this is not regulatory advice, and we cannot guarantee efficacy as every formula is different.

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