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Potassium Sorbate

* A mild preservative

* Please read TIA's post on Why Products Need Preservatives


Potassium Sorbate is a mild preservative being used in cosmetic and skin care formulas as a paraben alternative to prevent or retard the growth of microorganisms and protect products from spoiling, according to Developed from Sorbic Acid, which is naturally found in the berries of the mountain ash tree, Potassium Sorbate is effective against fungi, mold and yeast, but less active against bacteria, and therefore not considered a broad spectrum preservative; it needs to be used in conjunction with other preservatives to ensure formulas are totally protected. It is used in a wide variety of skin care and cosmetic products, including facial, eye and hair care formulas.

Potassium Sorbate is also used as a food preservative and is frequently seen as a wine ingredient to increase shelf life and stability (Wikipedia). It is FDA approved and not considered toxic. It is also CIR approved.

Safety Measures/Side Effects:

Potassium Sorbate is considered a very mild and natural preservative. The Cosmetics Database finds it to be a low hazard ingredient, and notes a concern that it may be a carcinogenic with lesser concerns regarding neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption. However, when ingested, Potassium Sorbate at 0.1% in the diet or 0.3% in drinking water for up to 100 weeks was shown to be not carcinogenic, and the FDA considers it to be safe because of its long term safety record and non-toxic profile, according to studies cited on

At concentrations up to 10%, Potassium Sorbate was practically nonirritating to the eye and only slightly irritating to skin, and is therefore considered non-irritating and non-sensitizing (Wikipedia).

Recommended Products w/ Potassium Sorbate:

Juice Beauty Green Apple Body Peel, Terralina Gentle Facial Cleanser, Terralina Facial Moisturizer, Enjoy Sulfate-Free Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner, Aviva Organics Face and Body Creme, Pure Basic Tea Tree and Rosemary anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Anti-Dandruff Conditioner, BeFine Food Skin Care Eye Blossom, Terralina Body Lotion and Toner
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