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What are the common preservatives used in skin care products?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

Preservatives are ingredients that kill bacteria to prevent a product from contamination.

The common preservatives used are:

  • Tocopherol acetate (vitamin E derivative; is also an emollient and
           antioxidant).
  • Propylene and butylene glycols (also humectants)
  • Disodium and tetrasodium EDTA
  • Diazolidinyl and imidazolydyl urea
  • Parabens (Methylparaben, polyparaben, butylparaben, etc.)
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Ascorbyl palmitate (a derivative of vitamin C)
  • Benzoic acid
  • Benzyl alcohol
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.