Project - MiKoKo - Fewer preservatives in cosmetics

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Project - MiKoKo - Fewer preservatives in cosmetics

MUDP – The Environmental Technology Development Program

Project start December 2015. Completion February 2018.

The objective of this project is to develop methods that can minimize the use of preservatives in cosmetic products. There is a wish for fewer preservatives as several of the substances have health hazardous effects, e.g., they can have allergenic effects.

The regulatory requirements comprise consumer safety, which in the trade typically is documented by challenge tests. However, such tests can in certain cases result in cosmetic products not passing the test, although they in practice are safe to use. The test does not take the actual exposure or the actual conditions for microbial growth in the pre-packed product into consideration. In addition, the method is cost-intensive and slow.

Therefore, the use of other microbial screening methods is highly relevant when developing new cosmetic formulations and they will form part of this project’s development work.

Project objectives

Several approaches will be used to obtain a reduced need for preservatives and at the same time develop a safe product:

  • Obtain increased understanding of microbial growth by identifying microorganisms in products that have not passed the challenge test.
  • Investigate the consequences of raw material choice and product type in relation to risk of microbial growth.
  • Investigate and document packaging solutions that can reduce the risk of microbial contamination of the product.

Increased knowledge about formulations, microbial growth, packaging and test methods will be used to develop improved cosmetic products with a significantly reduced amount of preservatives, which comply with the requirements of the EU Cosmetics Regulation regarding product and consumer safety.

Project partners

  • Danish Technological Institute (DK)
  • Dermapharm (DK)