Which preservatives should be avoided in cosmetics?

Which preservatives should be avoided in cosmetics?

In the cosmetic world, many ingredients should be banned. These are ingredients that can be found in the composition of treatments , but which have many negative effects:

  • Irritations
  • Allergies
  • Dry skin

Suffice it to say that offering such products in your beauty salon or spa is out of the question! Especially if you want to take care of your customers and make them want to come.

But among all the (sometimes incomprehensible) ingredients found on treatment labels, which ones should be avoided?

At the heart of the debates, we find the conservatives .

And even preservatives in natural cosmetics , which can also have side effects if they are not chosen well.

When you study cosmetic composition labels, certain ingredients should therefore be avoided. But which ones?

Green Spa, your supplier of organic cosmetics, presents the different preservatives to avoid at all costs in your products.


First of all, it's impossible to do an article on preservatives to ban without talking about parabens .

You must have heard about it, about ten years ago: parabens are one of the ingredients we don't want.

They can cause allergies , are harmful to the environment, and in the long term, to the skin.

Unfortunately, parabens are still found in many cosmetic products. Especially non-organic cosmetics, because organic regulations prohibit the presence of parabens in natural cosmetics.

But the worst thing about parabens is that they go by different names. No supplier will loudly proclaim “ parabens ” on its label.

No, it's much more subtle: parabens are called paraoxybenzoate, hydroxybenzoate, or even E214 or E219, to mislead you.

So be careful about the exact composition of the products you offer: do not hesitate to find out about each component that you do not understand.


More classic, triclosan is also a synthetic antibacterial which has preservative properties.

Certainly, it acts effectively against the formation of bacteria in creams. But alongside this effectiveness, it acts on the functioning of the thyroid, creates carcinogenic residues and causes inflammation.

Not to mention that it is, of course, harmful to the environment. Everything we love !

Good to know :

Since 2017, many cosmetic manufacturers have been fighting to obtain an outright ban on triclosan, which is responsible for far too many ills. It's a failure so far, but we'll keep our fingers crossed!

Cetrimonium bromide

That's it: we fall into the category of unpronounceable conservatives.

Cetrimonium bromide is a famous allergen in the cosmetic world. So famous that it is still authorized in the composition of products, whether face creams or body creams.

It is often found in facial toners, as well as hair products. But be aware that it is a very bad ingredient for dry and sensitive skin.

It is one of the ingredients found in moisturizing creams... And which tends to dry out the skin. To avoid !


Sorry James Bond fans, but in this case, MIT is just methylisothiazolinone , a preservative that effectively replaces parabens.

It is often found in non-organic shower gels and shampoos . Prohibited by all dermatologists worthy of the name, methylisothiazolinone is a very powerful skin irritant.

Redness, itching, eczema: it has many side effects which are not necessarily pleasant for your scalp.

Good to know :

MIT is so famous that in the United States, it was voted allergen of the year 2013 ! Quite a reward for a preservative that is unfortunately still found in bad cosmetics.


Benzyl Alcohol (also called benzyl alcohol ) is used in non-organic cosmetics , but is also very common in organic cosmetics.

It has the particularity of preventing the development of bacteria in creams and scrubs, but also of effectively tightening the pores of the skin.


Phenoxyethanol is one of the preservatives that can rarely be avoided... It is found in almost all non-organic cosmetics.

The reason why it is also known is because in addition to participating in the preservation of products , it is also an effective perfume fixative and stabilizer.

But it is a derivative of glycol ethers , which has many side effects for the quality and care of the skin .


Finally, if you can, avoid formalin releasers at all costs. They are certainly very effective preservatives, but they have the particularity of decomposing, producing a harmful gas.

Bad for your health if inhaled , it is classified as a class A allergen. And to enhance the pleasure, it is also a carcinogen known by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Choose the right cosmetics, with the right supplier

Now you know all the unnatural preservatives that are best to avoid. But be aware that it is still very often the case that non-organic cosmetics contain these harmful ingredients. So, how can you be sure to avoid them in your spa or beauty salon? Green Spa has the solution: go through a cosmetics supplier who only produces organic! The long-term guarantee of quality, for your skin, that of your customers and for the planet. Would you like more information about preservatives? Green Spa explains everything to you: