Preservative E - Palm Free

Product no.: PRES001

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Presevative E is an effective and simple to use preservative that is palm free and comes with good eco credentials, so that it can be used in natural and organic products.

Presevative E is a clear, colourless to slightly straw coloured mobile liquid.

A unique combination of benzyl alcohol, salicylic acid, glycerin and sorbic acid.  

This antimicrobial blend offers broad spectrum protection against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, yeast and moulds.

The Glycerine is Palm Free and is sourced from Canola or Soy Bean Oil.

INCI: Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Glycerin, Sorbic Acid

We recommend to blend the Stage 3 (below 40°C) ingredients together before adding to the product. This way, the preservative has a very low odour profile.

As this preservative contains Salicylic acid, it cannot be used in leave on products (like creams) intended for babies and children under the age of 7.

It can be used in rinse off products like a shampoo or body wash.

The individual materials that make up Eco Plus Preservative are listed on the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (CosIng)


In Skin Care

  • Effective in oil in water (O/W) and water in oil (W/O) emulsions so can be used in creams and lotions for all skin types.
  • Suitable for use in anhydrous (non-water containing) formulations such as oily body scrubs.
  • Because of the nature of the scrub, water is likely to enter the product container as it is used and so will need a preservative.

In Hair Care

  • No direct hair care usage but it is effective in hair conditioners, hair packs and shampoos.


  • Use at 1% but it is safe to go as high as 1.1% for example when using herbal infusions and decoctions.
  • The maximum safe amount use in products is no more than 1.15%.
  • Effective range is pH3 to pH8. Water soluble, so can be used in water based products such as toners.
  • It is best if combined with glycerin first.
  • Always check with your cosmetic safety assessor to ensure the percentage is correct for your particular product.
  • Add to Stage 3 (below 40°C) when making creams and lotions.
  • As it has a natural odour that can show through, we find it is better to either combine the Stage 3 ingredients together before blending or add Preservative Eco Plus is the first ingredient of the Stage 3.
  • We have found that when it is added last, the odour appears to be stronger and more noticeable.
  • Of course, adding essential oils can also cover this.
  • It is not suitable to use when combining clays into emulsions.
  • Although some of the older publications still suggest using drops as a measure, this is not accurate as dropper sizes vary.
  • Always weigh the amount of preservative used to get the correct percentage needed.
  • Preservative E as a slight odour which becomes stronger if the preservative is added as the last ingredient in a product.

Suggested Blends

  • Do not blend different preservatives with each other unless you are experienced in this area and can have the result tested for efficacy.
  • If you are adding extra materials to a base product, you may need to add extra preservative as well.
  • Ensure the same preservative as the base product is used.


  • Preservatives are needed for most cosmetic formulations that include water.
  • There are some companies that have very stringent manufacturing procedures to ensure the hygiene of the product and the ratio of some of the materials may make the product quite stable against contamination.
  • Shampoos can sometimes do this as they are often very alkaline. However, that alkalinity is not very comfortable on the scalp.
  • Vitamin E used to be referred to as a preservative because it preserved the shelf life of the product.
  • This was, however, only from the oils in the product going rancid. It is not a preservative by today's accepted standards.


  • As this preservative contains Salicylic Acid, it cannot be used in leave on products, such as creams and lotions, that are intended for babies or children under the age of 7. It can be used in shampoos and body washes, because they are rinse off products.</div>
  • These notes are not meant to replace medical guidance and you should seek the advice of your doctor for your health matters.
  • The formulae are given in good faith and are intended for educational purposes only.
  • It is up to the reader to ensure that any products they produce from these recipes are safe to use, and if relevant, compliant under current cosmetic regulations.
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