It is difficult to avoid preservatives in personal care and cleaning/washing since water give rise to good growing conditions for bacteria’s, fungus and mold. If microorganisms are allowed to grow this could, besides destroying the product and limit the durability, also result in a risk for infection for the consumer.
Betaine is an amino acid, which is naturally found in animals and plants such as algae and sugar beets. Betaine, which is used in cosmetics, is mostly derived from sugar beets. Betaine, among other things, enables the adjustment of the water balance in cells.
Betaine is used in cosmetic products as an anti-static, softening and moisturizing ingredient as well as it is used in order to control viscosity.
The substance may be used for several things in cosmetic products, for instance as an emulsifier i.e. a substance added due to the ability to mix oily and watery liquids. The substance is equally used as a stabilizer, dissolvent, moisture retainer and/or as a texturizing agent.
Citric acid is a medium strong acid, which is found naturally in citrus fruits. Citric acid may be extracted from fruits, but for industrial purposes, citric acid is mainly produced artificially. Citric acid is added to regulate the acidity (pH-value). Citric acid simultaneously has a preservative effect on the types of bacteria, which cannot grow in low pH environments.
The substance is also known as glycerol or propanetriol and is a thick sugary alcohol, which is part of all fatty substances.
Glycerine is highly hygroscopic i.e. capable of absorbing water/steam from its’ surroundings and thereby retains moisture. This is used in cosmetics, where it is added to creams as a moisturizing and moisture-retaining ingredient.
Glycerine is also added as a stabilizer and emulsifier in order to ease and stabilize the mix of fatty and watery ingredients.
Glyceryl Stearate SE is made from various vegetable oils and is a self-emulsifiying form of glyceryl stearate. It has softening effects but is also added as an emulsifier. An emulsifier enables the mix of substances, which are normally difficult to mix (e.g. oil and water).
Polyglyceryl-3 polyricinoleate is made from glycerine and fatty acid.
The substance works as an emulsifier i.e. it enables the mix of oily and watery ingredients, which provides the product with a more uniform structure. Polyglyceryl-3 polyricinoleate is also used to regulate the mix’s viscosity. Glycerine equally has softening properties.
PVP is used in cosmetic products and primarily has two functions: it keeps the product solidified and keeps the components dissolved. It may additionally be used in hair products, where it form a layer of film around and provides a hold on the hair. PVP is used with concentrations of 35% or less .
The substance is added in order to inactivate metal ions and is, therefore, used in detergents, where it helps soften the water. It additionally extends the life of the product. It is for instance found in sun products.