96 Address all correspondence to Gabriela Correa, prado_gabi@terra.com.br Preservation of Personal Care and Cosmetic Products: Effectiveness and Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic GABRIELA CORREA, ANDREZZA CANAVEZ, VERA ISAAC, MARCIO LORENCINI AND DESIREE SCHUCK Drugs and Medicienes, Sao Paulo State University, Araraquara, SP, Brazil (G.P., V.I.) Department of Safety Assessment, Grupo Boticário, São José dos Pinhais, Paraná, Brazil (A.C., M.L., D.S.) Accepted for publication December 1, 2021. Synopsis The global beauty industry has been shocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, with increased hygiene habits, the choice of preservatives can be impacted by consumers opting for safe products. Products without preservation system could quickly become contaminated with mold, fungi, and bacteria, resulting in spoilage and increased risk of infection. This review explores the possible impacts of COVID-19 in the preservation of cosmetics from the perspective of effectiveness and safety. The preservatives included benzalkonium chloride, benzoic acid, sodium benzoate, benzyl alcohol, chloroxylenol, chlorphenesin, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, potassium sorbate, as well as the multifunctional/ booster agents ethylhexylglycerin, caprylyl glycol, and natural antimicrobials. First, we highlight the current scenario of cosmetic preservation, the mode of action, and the maximum concentration allowed for preservatives then examines overexposure to preservatives. Unexpectedly, the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzed the world market, and cosmetic industries had to adapt to a new reality. Due to the widespread use of cosmetic products, the prevalence of allergies, microbiological resistance, the need for proper prevention of product contamination, and concerns over the safety of preservatives, further investigations into the modes of action of traditional or alternative preservatives are needed to create successful safety products. INTRODUCTION The global beauty industry (comprising skin care, color cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, and personal care) has been shocked by the COVID-19 crisis, due to which the beauty market is expected to decline 20–30% (1,2). In addition, approximately 17% of women stopped wearing makeup on account of COVID-19, and 30% of the beauty industry market was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic (2). The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply influenced many aspects of life, especially influencing sanitary restrictions (e.g., bans on leaving the house and the avoidance of direct social contact). People suddenly had more time which they could potentially devote to their J. Cosmet. Sci., 73, 96–113 (March/April 2022)
97 PRESERVATION OF PERSONAL CARE AND COSMETIC PRODUCTS appearance, the use of cosmetics, and hygiene. The COVID-19 pandemic’s creation of additional time has undoubtedly changed hygiene and cosmetic habits (3). Preservatives are added to cosmetics to maintain their microbiological purity during manufacturing, packing, and storage during the entire period of use, they ensure user safety. Even though preservatives are usually used in small concentrations, they are considered one of the main factors causing allergies in users (4). The cosmetic preservative market size exceeded US $975 million in 2019 and is estimated to grow at over 7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2020 and 2026. The growing incorporation of preservatives in cosmetics, owing to the importance given to increased shelf life along with upgrading product quality and increasing beauty awareness among populations, has resulted in rising skin care product sales, thereby driving global market growth (5). The contamination of cosmetic products is a risk for consumer health. According to the Rapid Alert System of the European Commission, 62 cosmetic products were recalled due to contam- ination by microorganisms between 2008 and 2014. The recalled products were found in 14 different countries, and their numbers were higher in 2013 and 2014. This data are often under- reported, making it more difficult to access more realistic data. The most frequently found microorganism was pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa (35.48%), and other microorganisms found were mesophilic aerobic microorganisms (bacteria, yeast and molds), Burkholderia cepa- cia, Klebsiella oxytoca, Serratia marcescens, Enterobacter gergoviae, Enterobacter cloacae, Staphylococcus aureus, Achromabacter xylosoxidans, Rhizobium radiobacter, Candida albicans, Pantoea agglomerans, Citrobacter freundii, Pseudomonas putida, Enterococcus faecium, and Klebsiella pneumoniae (6). Currently, with increased hygiene habits, the choice of preservatives can be impacted by consumers opting for safe products. The nutrient- and moisture-rich environments afforded by many cosmetics support the growth of microorganisms. As such, preservatives are added not only to protect the product from spoilage and inadvertent contamination, but also to protect the consumer. The emergence of novel pathogens, viral or bacterial, has always posed serious challenges to public health worldwide (7). Continuing attacks against most preservatives have kept formulators scrambling to find something that will not bring forth the dreaded “free-of” or “free-from” label claim, as demanded by marketing (8). This discussion has continued and is intensified by the COVID- 19 pandemic leading to increased use of antimicrobial ingredients as active substances. Two paths may arise: (1) the return of traditional preservatives that have proven efficacy (2) or new product formats and the search for natural alternatives. Considering the changes in post-pandemic habits among cosmetic consumers, this review aims to evaluate the possible impacts of COVID-19 on the preservation of cosmetic products from the perspective of effectiveness and safety of the antimicrobial preservatives addressed in this study. METHODS SEARCH STRATEGY The PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases were searched for articles and search terms including: “COVID-19,” “SARS-CoV-2,” “antimicrobial agents,” “antimicrobial preservatives,” “cosmetic preservation,” “benzalkonium chloride,” “benzoic acid,” “sodium benzoate,” “benzyl alcohol,” “caprylyl glycol,” “chloroxylenol,” “chlorphenesin,”
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