Makeup Powders Preservation and Water Activity

February 27, 2009 | Contact Author | By: Valerie Vignier, Anne-Marie Mounier and Veronique Heidet-Hommeau, Laboratoire de Biologie Végétale Yves Rocher; and Bernard Cahagnier, Expert en Microbiologie
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Keywords: preservation | water activity | equilibrium relative humidity | makeup powders | eyeshadow | mold | bacillus

Abstract: Spores of Bacillus subtilis and selected molds were used to demonstrate the impact of different thermodynamic water activities on the behavior of microorganisms inoculated in makeup powders with or without preservatives.

One of the problems still facing the cosmetics industry is microbiological pollution and its various consequences. For the manufacturer, contamination alters a product's organoleptic and psysiocochemical characteristics and degrades its active ingredients, which leads to a refusal of the product. For a consumer, the application of a product contaminated bty a pathogenic microorganism could result in infections, or at least could alter the balance of the skin/mucous membrane, our first barrier against infections.

Contamination may derive from a variety of sources: the raw materials, the manufacturing process, storage, packaging or use. To ensure that the microbiological quality remains good from manufacture to utilization, most products are preserved by the addition of antimicrobial agents.