Personal care, hair care and cosmetics containing water, oils, peptides, and carbohydrates are a good medium for growth of microbes (bacteria and fungi).These products therefore require preservatives to prevent microbial growth and spoiling of the product. Preservatives can increase the shelf life of product from 6-18months.

Preservatives can be classified into either natural antimicrobial, broad spectrum preservatives and stabilisers. Examples of natural antimicrobials include potassium sorbate, tea tree oil, hexanediol and sorbic acid. Examples of broad-spectrum preservatives include phenoxyethanol and parabens (Supguard GMB).

Stabilisers maintain the functionality, pH and activity of ingredients such as essential oils, fragrances, and active ingredients. Examples of stabilisers include EDTA and Sodium Gluconate.