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Radish root - alternative to phenoxyethanol and paraben preservatives

October 1, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 30 Comments
A new brand – I should more accurately say, a new brand to me – reached out to us here at Truth In Aging and straight away I had a hunch that I was going to find it interesting. Sevani focuses on natural ingredients and anti-aging peptides and I will be testing their products in the coming weeks (we have enough to share, so watch out for a Dare To Try it in an upcoming newsletter). When browsing through Sevani's ingredients I immediately alighted on radish. What jumped out at me is that radish root is being used by Sevani as the sole preservative and when I did some digging into it I found that it comes with an interesting back story.

Apparently, it all started with avian flu. During the SARS epidemic, researchers in Korea found out that chickens fed kimchi had a better rate of recovery than those fed standard poultry feed. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made of fermented vegetables. And it seems that the ferment is a powerful anti-microbial.

Then – connecting the dots in a way that I really like – a company called Active Micro Systems reasoned that beauty product consumers are turned off by parabens, phenoxyethanol and other potentially harmful preservatives and that fermented vegetables could provide an alternative. So they added leuconostoc (the same bacteria used in kimchi) to radish roots and left it to ferment.  The next job was to isolate the peptide with the antimicrobial activity.

The resulting ingredient, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, seems to do a good job at 05%-2% concentrations against a whole range of tiny nasties from e.coli to a.niger and it is recommended that it can be used as the sole preservative in a cosmetic.

Leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate crops up in a couple of mainstream beauty products such as  Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For and Elizabeth Arden Prevage Body. Although Elizabeth Arden completely defeats the object by hedging its bets by adding most parabens known to man and several other preservatives including phenoxyethanol.

Another natural preservative from AMS is made from aspen bark extract, from the quaking aspen tree found North America. Apparently, the bark is rich in salicylates that function as a defensive mechanism against invading parasites.
  • October 31, 2017

    by Billy

    Last I saw this article was still valid science. It appears that this item being marketed isn't exactly what it is claiming to be chemically. Quat Salts would definitely account for the activity of the material working - but it doesn't match the description of what the product is reported publicly to be made of. So I'm not sure I'd believe the description to be accurate. I've seen other boards comments where they manufacturer claims this study was funded by a competitor but I haven't seen any denial on the chemistry.

  • October 1, 2017

    by Lynn

    Anyone tell me if this study something to be concerned about? I am no sure if I understand this? Can you please advise if this has been resolved? Don't want to rub didecyldimethylammonium salts on my skin. Thank you in advance.

  • June 15, 2016

    by Kristina

    Here's the link to the updated CEN article (saying leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate turned out NOT to be responsible for the Badger recall):

  • June 14, 2016

    by Kristina

    As of June 2014, the Chemical & Engineering website's article, 'Close Scrutiny of Cosmetics,' was updated. Turns out that it was NOT leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, but Arborcide OC that Badger Company used in the products that were recalled. Good to know.

  • April 8, 2016

    by Camille

    Poofy Supernaturals - also uses Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate in their hand lotions I am happy to say.

  • June 30, 2015

    by Mairi

    I have concerns over the use of this preservative - are you aware that Badger had to recall some of it suncreams containing this ingredient in 2013?

  • May 7, 2012

    by Frann

    Hi everyone, I just jumped on board while looking for natural preservatives. Does this Leucidal really work?? I'm a newbee at making lotions and have been using: potassium sorbate, citric acid and cinnamon, along with green tea and either vit e or rosemary antioxidant oil. I'm still learning but have been selling to friends and co-workers for their feed back and they love my lotions. They have been lasting at least 2-3 months out of the refrigerator. How long of a shelf life will Leucidal give??

  • April 25, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi "Marlene" everyone is welcome to post their opinions and information that may be useful to others. However, you have attempted to post this comment under several different names. This is in violation of our code of conduct.

  • April 25, 2012

    by Marlene Rizzo

    I recently tried the new leucidal pt from formulator sample shop my testing came back and it is perfect. i used elderberry that works in my oil systems i receved an email code from them for free shipping and its code 6567 i would imagine they offfer to all their customers but i am not sure

  • April 18, 2012

    by Gabrielle Tompson

    I love using this stuff, But this article is old.. Since then they came out with a newer version that can be used in organic formulations it works in my lotions and testing came out fine - here is the link

  • February 29, 2012

    by J Hamilton

    No preservative? Unless I did chemistry in mars they use Sodium benzoate I quote: has the chemical formula NaC6H5CO2; it is a widely used food preservative, with E number E211. Then there’s zinc oxide I quote dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen ''possibly carcinogen to humans''
    Then there’s AHA Fruit Acids full front page in England of the daily express for causing skin cancer
    Hello anyone out there

  • February 22, 2012

    by Darrell

    It's been a while and I'm excited to circle back to this post and earlier questions from Junko and Susan.

    If you happen to notice, this story about radish root played an important role in the latest round of formula upgrades for the new Control just now coming available.

    Control is now using Leucidal (radish root ferment) instead of other preservatives.

    This change in Control's formula happened, in particular, because of TIA and this post. Kudos and thanks!

    On a side note to Julie K (if you're reading, Julie) your voice also contributed to changes in the peptides used in Control. TIA impact at it's best!

    Thank you!
    -Darrell (here at YBF)

  • January 26, 2012

    by Melissa Thompson

    I get this Leucidal & their new one Leucidal SF from
    It's been an awesome preservative. They also came out with an organic preservative
    I received an email offer with their specials and i used code 6566 at checkout to apply to FREE SHIPPING!

  • October 30, 2011

    by G. Harris

    Was researching this Leucidal since discovering it is an organic preservative and ALSO a peptide, that appeals to me! I'm excited to try it actually so off to order Sevani and will report back if interested!

  • October 17, 2011

    by Martina

    So cool to see you all discussing Sevani skin care products! I have been researching their vegan beauty products for some time now and finally ordered a few items last week. They came fast, look beautiful and most importantly, I already see a difference in my skin! Just FYI I've been using the Eye Repair Cream, Daily Mineral Age Defense SPF 20, and their Ageless Radiance AHA cleanser.

    Oh, another thing I found and really like about Sevani is that I feel great about spending my money to support a skin care company obviously working hard to do the right thing for their customers and the planet - putting our money where our mouth is seems to be the biggest voice we have now a days so being sure you're getting what you want and need while supporting companies doing business with a conscience is really important in my opinion! (off soap box now : )

    Anyway - thanks so much for your great work and info!

  • October 7, 2011

    by Joyce

    Lets see if it actually 'firms the face' before we get excited about the preservative. If it doesn't work, it doesn't matter to me. Age 62 and starting to sag....

  • October 6, 2011

    by pat s

    I would love to try Savani's new product for you --I am a big fan of HA and would like to see how this compares to the other products I use with HA in them

  • October 6, 2011

    by Joan McClendon

    I would love to try Savani cream as I am against all those uglies [preservatives] in creams.

  • October 5, 2011

    by Michelle G.

    Fantastic! Anytime I can ditch preservatives, I do. Why? It started with wanting to have low toxicity products for my kids, then I realized I didn't want this stuff on ME either! I cut as many preservatives out of my personal care and make-ups as possible, and guess what? The hormonal and chemical imbalances and huge emotional swings I have experienced since my teens disappeared! It was totally unexpected result!

  • October 5, 2011

    by Ann

    Natural anti-aging? I'm in. I'd LOVE to give it a try. As always your research is very much appreciated.

  • October 5, 2011

    by Denise Miller

    I would love to try the Sevani product as well. Radishes? That's a new ingredient :) Put me on the list for testing and reviewing.

  • October 5, 2011

    by Gloria

    I would love to try Sevani as well

  • October 5, 2011

    by tracy

    i would love to try sevani products!

  • October 4, 2011

    by Junko

    You're the BEST Darrell * fingers crossed that your test drive goes well !!

  • October 4, 2011

    by RV


    Since you will be testing Sevani products over the next few weeks, I would really appreciate it if you would consider doing a review of the Daily Mineral Age Defense SPF20.

  • October 3, 2011

    by Darrell

    Hi Junko!
    My verdict is still out as I need to read up more on the ingredient and give it a test drive.


  • October 2, 2011

    by Junko

    I thought you might chime in here Darrell, and I'm glad you did.
    Kindly clarify for us...does it seem that Radish Root might protect against all 3 or just the fungus among us again??

  • October 2, 2011

    by Darrell

    This is indeed, exciting!

    The catch always, from a formulator perspective, is finding a preservative that's safe -- and that protects from all three nasties: BACTERIA, FUNGUS, YEAST.

    That's often the catch with natural preservative in that they will protect against fungus but not bacteria or yeasts, which is SO important and I think is something that gets overlooked.


  • October 1, 2011

    by Susan

    I love it too, Junko! Adding to your comment, I bet they'd make more money, as their consumer base would grow.

  • October 1, 2011

    by Junko

    I love it!! Now, if cosmetic companies would use these natural preservatives in lieu of toxic ones, they'd be making giant steps towards keeping us healthy!

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