Theseare chemical substances used to kill the bacteria in foods and non-foods toprevent bacteria, moulds and fungus from making the product inedible andunusable.
The most commonly used preservatives are often a mix of compounds that are used together in cosmetics and commercial products such as shampoos, lotions, sunscreens, wet wipes, toothpaste, medicines, fabric softeners, cleaners and washing materials. Many of the antimicrobial preservatives commonly used in cosmetics can cause dermatitis and also release toxic chemicals that are absorbed into the body through the skin or lungs.
Other types of preservatives used include sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (SHG), sodium benzoate, parabens and phenoxyethanol. People who suffer from asthma or who have recurrent urticaria may be sensitive to sodium benzoate and may also have allergic reactions from using products which contain it.
There is debate about natural preservatives such as grapeseed extract and Japanese honeysuckle. The honeysuckle produces a natural paraben within its cells. It may be naturally produced by the plant, but it is a paraben nevertheless and is subject to the same concerns as other parabens with regards to cancer risks so the debate continues.
Citric acid is simply extracted from citrus fruits and is an excellent natural preservative which also maintains a correct pH balance in products. Natracare intimate wipes and baby wipes are preserved with citric acid.