Not all chemicals
are bad.

To ensure the safety of products till the time it reaches you and is consumed by you, we have added only the choicest, safest and expensive preservatives. It is good to know about the preservatives that go into your favourite products.

To avoid fungii and baterial growth,
we use only the safest and natural preservatives in our products.

Preservatives have received a negative connotation in the cosmetic and skin care industry because of claims that preservatives are hazardous to health. This is why many organic and natural beauty brands often include “preservative free” claims on product labels. However, the use of preservatives is necessary in most products to prevent degradation caused by microorganisms, and to protect the product from inadvertent contamination by the consumer during use.

A preservative may also be added to a product to protect it against deterioration caused by exposure to oxygen. In this case, these ingredients are also called antioxidants. Just like food, cosmetics products can become contaminated without preservatives, leading to product spoilage and possibly irritation or infections. Microbial contamination of products, especially those used around the eyes and on the skin, can lead to significant problems. Preservatives help prevent such problems.

When The Good Routine first launched its handmade soaps that had 100% pure essential oils and skin-purifying clays, our customers quickly became our brand ambassadors. They swore by the quality of our handmade soaps. They still do. 

And that is why quality is our most important brand promise. To inspire the same trust among our customers, we researched about naturally occurring preservatives that could be used to enhance the life of our products such as our intense hydrating moisturizing lotion and daily care nourishing shampoo. Without the use of these preservatives, the shelf-life of any product will be around 7-15 days, at the most. 

Unlike some brands that omit the complete list of ingredients, we welcome our customers to find out about the choicest, safest and expensive preservatives that go into your favourite products. 

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative used in cosmetic and skin care products that also functions as a corrosion inhibitor.


Sodium benzoate is the sodium salt of benzoic acid. Benzoic acid was discovered in the sixteenth century. Both benzoic acid and sodium benzoate occur naturally in many foods. For example, fruits and vegetables can be rich sources, particularly cranberries, prunes, plums, cinnamon, ripe cloves, and apples. Other sources include seafood and dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt.

Sodium benzoate is a white, crystalline solid and is a hygroscopic material. It will easily dissolve in water, forming a transparent, colorless solution. This ingredient is primarily used as a preservative in food and cosmetic products. In fact, sodium benzoate was the first preservative allowed by the FDA for use in food products.


Sodium benzoate functions as a preservative and a corrosion inhibitor in numerous types of cosmetics and personal care products.

As a preservative, sodium benzoate prevents bacteria and fungi from developing in products. The mechanism starts with the absorption of benzoic acid into the cell of a microorganism. If the pH inside the cell falls to 5 or lower, the anaerobic fermentation of glucose through an enzyme called phosphofructokinase decreases sharply. This inhibits the growth and survival of microorganisms that can cause products to spoil.

Sodium benzoate also functions as a corrosion inhibitor, which means it helps to prevent the corrosion (rust) of metallic materials used in cosmetic packaging.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes sodium benzoate on its list of direct food substances affirmed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).

The safety of sodium benzoate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel concluded that this ingredient is safe for use in cosmetic products.


Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a mild preservative that is used in a variety of cosmetics and personal care products in order to extend the shelf-life by preventing microbial contamination, often as a paraben alternative.


Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid, a natural compound found in berries of the mountain ash tree, Sorbus aucuparia. Even though natural sources of this ingredient exist, nearly all of the world’s production of sorbic acid is manufactured synthetically. Potassium sorbate is produced industrially by neutralizing sorbic acid with potassium hydroxide. The synthetic version is a nature-identical compound chemically equivalent to the molecule found in nature.

Potassium sorbate occurs as a white crystalline powder, white granules, or pellets. It readily dissolves in water where it converts to sorbic acid, its active form, at a low pH. Sorbic acid is very pH dependent. In chemistry, pH stands for ‘potential hydrogen’ and it refers to the level of acidity or alkalinity in a given solution. 

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, while a pH less than 7 is acidic and a pH greater than 7 is basic. Sorbic acid demonstrates some activity up to pH 6 (about 6%), but it is most active at pH 4.4 (70%).


Potassium sorbate is predominantly used as a food preservative. It inhibits the growth of molds and yeasts in many foods, such as cheese, wine, yogurt, dried meats, soft drinks, and baked goods.

These same preservative properties can be used to extend the shelf-life of cosmetics and personal care products. It is used in cosmetics at concentrations up to 1%. While potassium sorbate is effective against fungi, mold, and yeast, it is less active against bacteria. Therefore, potassium sorbate is not considered a broad spectrum preservative and it must be used in conjunction with other preservatives to ensure formulas are protected.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety of potassium sorbate and determined that this ingredient is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as a preservative for direct addition to food.

The safety of potassium sorbate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that potassium sorbate was safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products. Tests were done using up to 10% potassium sorbate (much higher than the concentrations used in cosmetic products). At this concentration, potassium sorbate was non-irritating to the eye and was only slightly irritating to skin. In 2006, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on these ingredients and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

According to EWG, potassium sorbate is rated as a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest risk to health and 10 being the highest. Some people may have allergic reactions to potassium sorbate. Although this allergy is rare, those that are allergic to potassium sorbate must avoid this ingredient to prevent hypersensitivity reactions. 

Iscaguard PEG

Phenoxyethanol is a versatile, widely used preservative for personal care formulations. It is paraben-free, thiazolinone-free and formaldehyde-free.

Iscaguard® PFA is a “preservative free additive” with a synergistic combination of multifunctional cosmetic raw materials with broad-spectrum antimicrobial protection.

Iscaguard® PFA may be classed as a “preservative free system”. This system represent an alternative to traditional cosmetic preservatives allowing self-preserving formulations thereby reducing irritant and sensitizing potentials.
Iscaguard® PFA is stable and active over a pH range of 4 to 8. Typical use levels for Iscaguard® PFA range from 0.5% to 1.5%. It is synergistic in combination with chelating agents.

The addition of triethylene glycol increases its effectiveness by lowering its surface tension in order to enhance its activity at the cell membranes of microorganisms.

Iscaguard PEG has a broad, balanced spectrum of activity against bacteria, yeasts, mould and fungi.
• Suitable for Leave-On, Rinse-off and Wet wipes
• Safe for use in Oral Care and Infant / Baby Care
• Broad Spectrum against Gram +ve, -ve, yeast, mould and fungi
• Most functional & Economic preservative of choice

Regulatory Status

Iscaguard® PFA is permitted worldwide for use in both leave-on and rinse-off personal care products.

EU – allowed without restriction in all products (not listed on Annex VI)

USA – allowed without restriction in all products

Japan – allowed without restrictions in all products

Phenethyl alcohol is judged safe for use in cosmetics to 1.0%. Based on the CIR review for phenethyl alcohol and the good toxicity assessment for caprylyl glycol Iscaguard® PFA should be safe in cosmetics up to 1.8%

INCI name: phenethyl alcohol, caprylyl glycol.

Cetostearyl alcohol

Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful. Cetostearyl alcohol is absolutely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for skin. Examples you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol. All of these are good ingredients for dry skin, and in small amounts fine for any skin type as they give a pleasing texture and help keep ingredients stable in products. It’s important to discern these skin-friendly forms of alcohol from the problematic types of alcohol. Likewise, you may have heard that alcohol is a good ingredient because it helps other ingredients like retinol and vitamin C absorb into skin more effectively. Sources: CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC. EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry. NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data.

Glyceryl monostearate

The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Glyceryl Stearate and Glyceryl Stearate SE were safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products. Glyceryl Stearate and Glyceryl Stearate SE are esterification products of glycerin and stearic acid. Glyceryl Stearate is a white or cream-colored wax-like solid. Glyceryl Stearate SE is a “Self-Emulsifying” form of Glyceryl Stearate that also contains a small amount of sodium and or potassium stearate. In cosmetics and personal care products, Glyceryl Stearate is widely used and can be found in lotions, creams, powders, skin cleansing products, makeup bases and foundations, mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, hair conditioners and rinses, and suntan and sunscreen products. Glyceryl Stearate acts as a lubricant on the skin’s surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. It also slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface. Glyceryl Stearate, and Glyceryl Stearate SE help to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. Glyceryl Stearate is made by reacting glycerin with stearic acid, a fatty acid obtained from animal and vegetable fats and oils. Glyceryl Stearate SE is produced by reacting an excess of stearic acid with glycerin. The excess stearic acid is then reacted with potassium and/or sodium hydroxide yielding a product that contains Glyceryl Stearate as well as potassium stearate and/or sodium stearate. Source: 

Sodium cocoyl glycinate

Sodium cocoyl glycinate is an amino acid-derived cleansing and skin-softening ingredient that sometimes also shows up in hair care products. It may be animal- or plant-derived or, as is often the case, synthetic, but is typically created from coconut fatty acids and the amino acid glycine. As a cleansing agent, sodium cocoyl glycinate is considered mild and non-drying. It’s one of the few cleansing agents that naturally produces a creamy-feeling lather. It’s considered safe and non-irritating to skin as used in cosmetic products. References for this information: The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, June 2013, pages 23-30

Click to access alkyl_amides_0.pdf

Cocamidopropyl betaine

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is an organic compound derived from coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. CAPB is available as viscous pale yellow solution that is used as a surfactant in personal care products. The name reflects that the major part of the molecule, the lauric acid group, is derived from coconut oil. CAPB is a medium strength surfactant used in bath products such as shampoos and hand soaps. It is also in cosmetics as an emulsifying agent and thickener, and to reduce irritation purely ionic surfactants would cause. It also serves as an antistatic agent in hair conditioners, which most often does not irritate skin or mucous membranes. It also has antiseptic properties, making it suitable for personal sanitary products. Cocamidopropyl betaine is a surfactant that is a common ingredient in many liquid skin cleansers. Surfactants allow water to wash away the oil and dirt from your skin by decreasing the surface tension of water and making it easier to wet your face. Surfactants are both lipophilic – oil loving – and hydrophilic – water loving – which enables them to remove dirt and oil from your skin. Some surfactants are harsher on skin than others, but cocamidopropyl betaine typically doesn’t cause irritation. In fact, it’s often used in cleansers because of its thickening and foaming properties, which help moisturize the skin. Cocamidopropyl betaine is even found in many baby soaps and shampoos. Source: