Preservatives have been under increasing scrutiny and the range of permitted preservatives has dwindled in recent years. However, the need for effective preservatives in personal care products has not changed.
So Cosmetics Europe took it upon themselves to try to increase the general level of preservative knowledge within the sector and beyond.
Maria Wouters Rentero of Cosmetics Europe, the European trade association for the cosmetics and personal care industry, spoke to Personal Care magazine and said: “Preservatives are key ingredients for the cosmetic and personal care industry. Cosmetics Europe started its programme to raise awareness of the importance of product preservation last year and to support the preservatives approved by the European Union through the Cosmetic Products Regulation. The ultimate goal is to have an adequate and sustainable range of preservatives. To address this, Cosmetics Europe has defined four areas of action: risk management and regulatory process efficacity, communication and risk assessment.
“Cosmetics Europe activities are mainly targeted at policymakers and other stakeholders in our sector. The quiz on product preservation is one element of Cosmetics Europe approach to educate about preservatives and their role in cosmetics and personal care products, dispel myths surrounding preservatives and raise awareness about their benefits. Thanks to the use of social media channels and coverage by some trade media, we could go a step further, promoting the quiz towards general consumers of cosmetic products.”
The multiple choice quiz opens with a question regarding pack labelling. Consumers sometimes overlook the recommended usage guidelines and need to be reminded of the consequences of extended use periods.
Each question is followed by some informative text to give context to that specific issue, in this case: “Once opened, dirt and microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts and moulds) that are found in the air, on the skin and on applicators can get into products where they may be able to live and grow. Cosmetic products should be well preserved to help prevent the growth of microorganisms (e.g. by using preservative ingredients, appropriate storage conditions etc…).”
The quiz takes the participant through all the various considerations under the preservative umbrella, as well as highlighting the extensive safety testing of preservative products.