Multifunctional Cosmetic Ingredients as Antimicrobials


Today's formulator is busy, and their task of creating innovative formulations is boosted by new multifunctional ingredients. These multitaskers often include benefits such as emolliency, film forming, fragrance, antimicrobial/antimicrobial boosting and viscosity building, among the most popular. The concept of delivering two highly desired benefits for personal care in one product is one of great appeal to formulators globally.


Cosmetic preservatives are subject to a higher level of regulation than most cosmetic ingredients, with defined maximum use levels and application restrictions. While detailed use conditions vary from country to country, a primary global standard for acceptable preservative use is Annex V of EU Regulation 1223/2009, formerly Annex VI in Council Directive 76/768/EEC. This is a positive list, meaning only actives included in this list can be used as a cosmetic preservative. There are currently 55 accepted preservatives on this list, but not all are used in practice; the actual palette of preservatives is much smaller.

Ingredients that have some antimicrobial activity but are not listed in Annex V cannot be marketed as a preservative in a personal care product. These types of ingredients can only be promoted and used if preservation is a secondary function, where there is also a primary marketed function such as  fragrance  or moisturization

Fragrance + Preservation

Rômacil V™ (INCI: Fragrance) is a multifunctional cosmetic ingredient offered by Lonza Consumer Care that exhibits its primary function of a mild vanilla fragrance as well as its secondary function of broad spectrum efficacy to protect the integrity of the finished formulation. This innovative, patent-pending product imparts a delicate vanilla fragrance to mildly enhance the attributes of a personal care product. However, its broad spectrum antimicrobial capabilities add an additional level of protection to maintain the product’s integrity. These aspects have been demonstrated in a number of different personal care formulations at the recommended use level of 1-2%, including a wipe application

Preservation Efficacy

CTFA studies were run using different concentrations of Rômacil V in various formulations (see Formula 1 and Formula 2) to assess efficacy against various bacteria, yeast and fungi. All samples were inoculated at the beginning of the study, sampled at 24 hours, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Four weeks after challenge, samples were challenged again and the same sampling regime followed.

In addition to the pleasant aroma Rômacil V presents, the product can also be effective against bacteria, yeast and mold, as shown in the results of the Preservation Efficacy Test (PET) results shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2. These results are promising, since multifunctional ingredient with secondary benefits as an antimicrobial often only show efficacy against a limited range of organisms or act as a booster to another preservative rather than offer a individual broad spectrum effect.

Additional Benefits

An added appeal of Rômacil V multifunctional cosmetic ingredient is that a formulator is not bound to only having the vanilla fragrance in a finished formulation. It has been determined in laboratory testing that other fragrances that can be used in combination with Rômacil V. In some cases, the fragrances complement one another and in other cases, a secondary fragrance can become the prominent scent, giving the user additional flexibility. Other appealing factors of the product is that the material is water soluble, compatible in a diverse range of personal care products, non-GMO, and has a wide range of global regulatory approvals.

Cosmetic ingredients with dual functions are trending right now in the personal care industry. Products that offer functionalities that can enhance a formulation with something such as fragrance while offering an antimicrobial effect are of great appeal to formulators. To learn more about Lonza Consumer Care’s Rômacil V ingredient, please visit www.lonza.com.


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