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Beauty, Wipes and Preservation

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: November 7, 2006, from the November 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“The type of packaging that contains the wipe product may impact the preservative effectiveness,” said Lindstrom. “Evaporation of the product matrix over time in some packages will affect the quality of preservative activity. It is especially important to perform preservative efficacy testing on the finished product before market to assure adequate preservative system stability over consumer use.”

Siegert points out that it is important to develop with the finished product in mind and to test the preservative system in the finished product—not just the wet wipe liquid.

Considerations and Possibilities 

Schülke & Mayr’s Sedlewicz notes that special care must be used in the preservation of wipes to be used on or around mucous membrane. Because these tissues can be sensitive and allergic reactions may occur, many commonly used cosmetic preservatives may be unsuitable for use on or around delicate tissue. The company formulated its Euxyl PE 9010 (phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin) to be gentle enough to use on mucus membrane while still effectively preserving wipes. According to the company, it is broad-spectrum, globally approved and avoids the solubility issues sometimes found in parabens when used in wipes. The Schülke & Mayr line also includes several phenoxyethanol-organic acid blends that are appropriate for use on mucous membrane.

“From a regulatory standpoint, there have recently been some additions to the list of preservatives approved for use in global cosmetic formulations,” said Sedlewicz. “However, consumers are becoming increasingly label-savvy. It is consumer opinion that often drives the choice of preservative. Whether scientifically valid or not, this consumer opinion has restricted the use of some traditional preservative actives.”

“Although dry and wet wipes may be preserved differently due to the low water activity of the dry wipe, the fact remains that a wide choice of preservatives has assured manufacturers that wipe products will retain their quality under varying temperature/humidity and use conditions,” said International Specialty Products’ Lindstrom. “Effective preservative systems have enabled cosmetic and personal care manufacturers to expand their creativity in novel packaging without risking product integrity. The creativity of marketing into new venues for the future will rely on preservatives that are stable, mild and effective.”

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