The medium is the preservative.
* Your article, "Preservative Market Update" (p. 77, May, 2007) continues to show a lack of originality of the industry. Although I have preached that the "The Medium is the preservative" (Cosmetics & Toiletries, p. 96, March 1981) the message has fallen on deaf ears.
What has gotten attention is the "paraben problem?" More and more companies are now interested in "Preservative-free" or better "Self preserving formulas." Presevative-free products are not only possible but formulations given more thought can be made superior in aesthetics and performance.
Here's a recent example. A patent covers USANA's formulation for manufacturing the Sense skin and personal care product line so that they are capable of maintaining an industry-standard, two-year shelf life without the need for added chemical preservatives. USANA's now-patented "self-preserving" technology utilizes a variety of proprietary blends of purifying botanicals, antioxidants and other active ingredients in protective liquid crystals to keep the product fresh naturally. The Sense line maintains its shelf life without the use of parabens or other chemical preservatives commonly used in other cosmetics and skin care products. Other are now following but still with skepticism.
The idea of "hurdle technology" so often successfully used in the food industry is still a concept foreign to most cosmetic formulators.
Perhaps in the next 25 years the idea that the "Medium is the Preservative" will no longer be revolutionary.
Dr. Jon J. Kabara Director of R&D Med-Chem Labs.