Antibacterial Functionality To Cosmetic Products

It appears that multifunctionality is here to stay. And adding antibacterial agents to your cosmetic products is one way of achieving this goal. There are a variety of antibacterial agents that can be used. Triclosan, PCMX (chloroxylenol), Trichlo-carban, alcohols, and quaternary ammonium compounds are all examples. These types differ with respect to their effectiveness against different types of organisms. There are a wide variety of antibacterial, multifunctional products on the market. Many of these products are targeted for specific cohorts. There is controversy with respect to the use of antibacterial agents. One camp thinks that continued use of these products will help to create new strains of bacteria for which we would have no resistance. Others point out that agents such as Triclosan have been used for more than 30 years with no signs of new bacterial strains developing. But despite all these rumblings, antibacterial agents continue to be used in cosmetic products.

When considering the addition of antibacterial agents to a product, you should address questions such as How much should I use? and How do I effectively incorporate the agent? And since antibacterial products are considered to be OTC drugs, cGMP guidelines should be established and put into place. Quantitative methods for assaying antibacterial agents should be available, as well as a means to microbiologically verify the efficacy of your finished formulations.

Two recent products appearing in the marketplace are water-white and sensitive-skin formulations. The trend for clear, light color formulations has resulted in an increased use of alkyl ether sulfate (AES) versus a-olefin sulfonates (AOS). Fur t ther product segmentation and "appeal-ability" to a wide range of consumers— infants, babies, toddlers, children, preteens, teens, young adults, and seniors—will yield creative packaging and fragrances.

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