The preservative PHMB and its use in cosmetics

Numerous excipients are presents in cosmetics; among them, preservatives play a fundamental role, but some of them are considered unsafe or at least are suspected to be harmful for the consumers.

Recently, the preservative poly(hexamethylene) biguanide hydrochloride (PHMB), whose INCI name is polyaminopropyl biguanide, was in the spotlight of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS).

This administrative body established that PHMB can be safely used in cosmetics up to a 0.1% concentration.

This is the first time that SSCS released an opinion on a carcinogenic, mutagenic and/or reprotoxic (CMR) substance. The preservative, that has an unique method of action, was previously allowed at a concentration up to 0.3%, which the SCCS ruled unsafe.

by D.Merli