Chemical Preservatives and Fragrances

Chemical preservatives in Skin Care products are the main cause for allergic reactions. Especially the following ingredients are critical (according to us): Benzoic Acid, Methyl-Paraben, Ethyl-Paraben, Butyl-Paraben, Propyl-Paraben, 2-Brom-2-Nitro-propane- 1, 3-Diol, Triclosan, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, Chlor-hexidine, Cetrimonium-Bromid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone. We recommend not to use such preservatives at all provided that the producer is capable of keep those products perishable without the utilization of chemical preservatives. If he/she is not, allergenic risks caused by that substances must be accepted though as there’s a danger of attack by microbes otherwise.

Fragrances do not have any impact on a positive skin nurturing effect of any skin care product. On the one hand scenting substances are utilized to conceal the bad odour of raw materials and on the other hand to help the purchase decision of the customer. Negative consequences are often neglected even among (self-styled) experts. So does not really come as a surprise that allergies have increased in recent years. Largely, cosmetic industry is to blame for this unfortunate fact as too many allergenic substances are utilized in cosmetics industry. Therefore the beautician, physician and pharmacist have a special responsibility towards the customer when it comes to their advisory tasks. But also the customers themselves should know the basics about allergic reaction and their causes in order to prevent them as far as possible.

Basically, every substance in cosmetic products could possibly trigger an allergic reaction. As soon as the immune system recognizes a substance as foreign, a defence reaction cannot be avoided. On the other hand, the more skin-identical a substance is by nature, the more unlikely the occurrence of allergic reactions.

Scientific research has shown which substances of cosmetic products more often than others cause allergic reactions to occur. Beyond any doubt chemical preservatives and fragrances have been shown to cause frequent and harmful allergic reactions, and unfortunately, these are exactly the substances used by the cosmetic industry in a consistent manner. If these allergenic substances penetrate the skin, i. e. if the horny layer of the skin as a natural protection layer is penetrated, the increasing number of allergic reactions should not be any surprise at all.

Be careful, however. Even if a scented product that contains chemical preservatives has been tolerated for a long time the process of disease in the skin might already have begun. We all know this phenomenon that a product is seemingly tolerated for some time and then all of a sudden an allergic reaction occurs. This is no surprise for an expert! The sensitize period - this is the time period the immune system needs to build up the visible inflammatory skin reaction - may last days, weeks, months or even years. Hence, by the continuous use of a certain ointment that contains fragrances and/or chemical preservatives, the development of an allergic disease in the skin may already have begun while it still seems to be tolerated.

The consequence of all these facts can only be not to use allergenic preservatives and fragrances in cosmetic products in order to achieve the best possible skin-compatibility for as many people as possible.

However, highly sophisticated and expensive scientific research is inevitable to assure a product’s neutral or pleasant odour and to guarantee stability without chemical preservatives. This is extremely difficult with liposome preparations.

Preparations without fragrance and without chemical preservatives are the best possible guarantee against allergic reactions. Promising 100% safety is not possible, because even the best skin-compatible substance can trigger an allergic reaction with persons with an extreme propensity to allergy. In the rare case of a reaction you as beautician will be able to explain the underlying scientific facts logically and convincingly. B.T.W. The non-recommendable preservative “Imidazolidinyl Urea „can be easily confuses with “Urea” as such. However, urea without the imidazolidinyl-molecule is very recommendable as ingredient in cosmetic products.