Recent trends in personal care heighten the need for an "all natural" ingredient listing on product labels. Formulators therefore seek natural alternatives to replace conventionally used functional ingredients. Driven by regulatory issues and safety concerns, synthetic ingredients are now subject to increasing scrutiny worldwide. The quest for natural antimicrobials and preservatives has become an area of dynamic research in personal care, particularly in view of the increased incidence of "antibiotic resistance", arising from non-judicious use of conventional antibiotics.
Research trends in personal care now feature natural antimicrobial ingredients that help to retard the growth of topical pathogens, as well as natural preservatives that retard the growth of microbes in finished personal care product formulations. Multifunctionality is an additional advantage of natural extracts used as antimicrobials. Several of them offer anti-inflammatory, immunological and wound healing support as well. Although no single natural extract has been found to be comparable in efficacy to conventionally used preservatives such as parabens, combinations of naturals with synergistic activity have been identified to offer protection against invasive growth of bacteria and fungi. Such extracts also offer antioxidant action, and other benefits with beneficial effects on product shelf life.
Sabinsa Corporation offers several such ingredients including essential oils such as Coleus forskohlii oil and Turmeric oil, plant extracts such as Rosemary extract, Rosmarinic acid, Tetrahydrocurcuminoids, Galanga Extract, Green tea Extract, Ursolic acid, Oleanolic acid, SapindinÒ, Oleuropein, Neem oil limonoids, Policosanol and specialty chemicals such as 1,2 hexanediol.