Preservation challenges & Skin sensitivities workshop

Preservation challenges & Skin sensitivities workshop

05 October 2020, 14:30 - 18:30

Workshop Room 2

Co-organised with Household and Personal Care Today and Sponsored by CLARIANT

In recent years, preservation of cosmetic products has been heavily affected by bad press, consumer’s perception and increasingly tough Regulations.

As a consequence, it is estimated that about 50% of the substances listed on Annex V of the European Regulation EC/1223/2009 have been affected to some extent.

If, from one side, it is a good - practice for our Industry to systematically review toxicological properties of the chemicals used to increase consumer’s safety, on the other side the “perceived aura” around preservatives has been creating some collateral damages.

Deemed as “bad chemicals” by consumers & press, several substances, which have been safely used for many decades are now being phased out by Brands, as a result of pressure for products that are perceived as cleaner and “less synthetic”.

The list of the substances that are “not wanted” is perhaps longer than the Annex V itself.

This has been causing some serious issues to Formulators who are tasked with the legal & ethical obligation to adequately preserving their products in order to ultimately be as safe as possible for consumers.

The use of fewer substances as well as more reliance on so-called “multi-functionals”, botanicals & essential oils could, cause also issues from a dermatological point of view, with possible increase of skin reactions.

This workshop is aimed at exploring and understanding the risk of increasingly challenging preservation practices on the skin: we will hear different technical takes in terms of formulation, dermatology and toxicology.

14:30 - 14:50     Introduction
Dr. Andrea Mitarotonda PhD FRSC, Consultant

14:50 - 15:20     Less preservative, same protection – The preservative boosting concept
Dr. Petra Schaal, Application Development Manager Preservatives, Clariant

Preservatives are core ingredients of a cosmetic formulation. For several years these ingredients have been under regulatory or public scrutiny. Therefore, it is highly desired to either reduce the amount of the synthetic preservatives or move to natural alternatives which generally show weaker performance. Preservative boosters have become an important option to extend the formulators’ tool box in this direction. In this presentation Dr. Petra Schaal will give an introduction to help formulators using these ingredients in their preservation challenges. 

15:20 - 16:00     The new mindset for formulators to achieve microbial protection using multifunctional cosmetic ingredients with consumers acceptance
Dr. Barbara Olioso, MRSC, Managing Director, The Green Chemist Consultancy

Once upon a time to preserve a cosmetic it was a simple choice from ingredients in Annex V, mainly dictated by application and regulations. It was a relatively easy, cheap and predictable exercise. However in the last few years preservation has become more and more a consumer’s affair with the market flooded with claims like “preservatives free”, “parabens free”, pushing the industry towards using multifunctional ingredients of plant origin and with antimicrobial properties, in order to give consumers what they want.

This new approach to product preservation has made formulators work harder and more complex. There are many ingredients to choose from and they need to be combined depending on the application, formula compatibility, cost and mildness. In this presentation I shall give an introduction to help formulators to unravel this complexity and understand the new mindset required for this new approach to antimicrobial protection.

16:00 - 16:30     Coffee and networking break

16:30 - 17:10     Skin allergy from preservatives
Ewa Daniél, Chemical Director, AllergyCertified

Ewa will discuss the challenges there can be by using preservatives which on one way need to be effective but do not have any side effect such as skin allergy.

17:10 - 17:50     Skin sensitisation and preservatives: how in vitro tests can contribute to more human-relevant safety evaluations
Dr. Carol Treasure, Founder & CEO, XCellR8

Preservatives are well known skin sensitisers and a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Since most cosmetic products contain preservatives, it’s critical to have confidence that these will not cause skin sensitisation, and to avoid subsequent allergies in consumers. Annex V of Cosmetics Regulation EC 1223/2009 lists the 57 preservatives that are approved for use in cosmetic products in Europe, along with the maximum allowable concentration. Much of the available safety information on these preservatives depends on historical animal data using outdated tests with limited relevance to humans and fails to consider the interactions between ingredients in a finished formulation. 


Our collective understanding of the biology of skin sensitisation has increased in recent years and has been described through the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP), composed of a series of key events. Global industry efforts have resulted in the development of 3 OECD-approved in vitro tests addressing the key events, along with several non-regulatory methods that can be used to build a weight of evidence to demonstrate safety. These new-generation, scientifically advanced methods can test individual preservatives or combinations of ingredients / finished products. The tests also provide a valuable route for the evaluation of proposed new preservatives for Annex V. Such an approach would provide more human-relevant information for Safety Data Sheets while honouring the animal testing ban - using advanced science to create products that are safer than ever for humans to use.

17:50 - 18:30     Preservatives: Regulatory and safety point of view
Dr. Mojgan Moddaresi, Regulatory Expert and Safety Assessor, Personal Care Regulatory Ltd.

In this presentation we will look at the toxicological profile of ANNEx V approved preservative list and compare their skin sensitivity and Ocular irritations. Meanwhile, we will have an overview of what’s new in EU regulation for preservatives.

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  • Clariant

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  • Dr. Andrea Mitarotonda PhD FRSC



    Andrea is a Chartered Chemist and holds a PhD in Polymer & Colloid Chemistry, a MSc in Industrial & Applied Chemistry and a Diploma in Innovation...

  • Dr. Petra Schaal


    Application Development Manager Preservatives


    Dr. Petra Schaal holds the position as Application Development Manager at Clariant. After receiving her PhD in Chemistry in 2013 she joined Clariant...

  • Dr. Barbara Olioso, MRSC



    The Green Chemist Consultancy

    Dr Barbara Olioso is a doctor of chemistry with a Master in Food Science and Technology and a diploma in Cosmetic Science. UK based, she has been...

  • Ewa Daniél


    Toxicologist and Co-Founder


    Ewa Daniél is a toxicologist and co-founder of AllergyCertified.  She has worked with skin allergy and risk assessments of cosmetic products for...

  • Dr. Carol Treasure


    Founder & CEO


    Dr Carol Treasure is the Founder and CEO of XCellR8, an animal-free testing laboratory. XCellR8 conduct regulatory in vitro safety and efficacy tests...

  • Dr. Mojgan Moddaresi


    Regulatory Expert and Safety Assessor

    Personal Care Regulatory Ltd.

    Dr. Moddaresi is a regulatory expert and safety assessor at Personal care Regulatory Ltd., a testing lab with a specific tailor-made approach for...


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