You might have seen Potassium Sorbate pop up on the ingredient list on the back of your shampoo. It might be the last thing you want to read on the list of ingredients, but Potassium sorbate is a vital ingredient in many cosmetic and food products.
Preservatives are necessary to prevent the growth of microbes in your product and to increase the shelf life of the product. Unlike the cheap synthetic preservatives used in hair care products, natural preservatives such as Potassium Sorbate are safe on your hair and scalp. This blog will discuss where Potassium sorbate is derived and why it frequently pops up in so many of our haircare products.
What is potassium sorbate?
Potassium salts of sorbic acids are the source of Potassium Sorbate. Sorbic acid is also found in the berries of the Mountain ash tree- Sorbus aucuparia, Rosaceae.
This Potassium salt of Sorbic Acid is available in the form of white granules or pellets or white crystalline powder. Synthetically, Potassium Sorbate is produced from Sorbic acid and Potassium hydroxide. This synthetically produced preservative is colorless and tasteless. Potassium Sorbate and Sorbic Acid retard the growth of micro-organisms in your hair care product and protect your natural hair products from deterioration, thus increasing their shelf life.
This naturally derived preservative is a gentle alternative to harsh preservatives such as parabens, phthalates, and methylisothiazolinone (MIT), primarily found in haircare products. Many cosmetic brands avoid parabens and phthalates from their products because of their adverse effect on your hair and adopt natural preservatives such as Potassium sorbate and Sorbic Acid.
Benefits of potassium sorbate in haircare products
Many cosmetic products might have the term 'paraben-free' or 'preservative-free.' Harsh chemicals such as phthalates and parabens are harmful to our skin. Still, the term 'preservative-free' can be pretty misleading as preservatives are necessary to prevent the product from spoiling. Thus, many haircare brands use natural preservatives that are gentle on your skin and do not have any potential risk.
Potassium Sorbate is an effective haircare ingredient that increases the shelf life of your product by preventing the growth of molds, yeast, and bacteria in your haircare product. Most haircare products contain water, when combined with oxygen, can be a conduit for microbial growth, leading to contamination or spoilage of your product. But preservatives such as Potassium Sorbate hamper the growth of micro-organisms in your haircare products.
Although Potassium Sorbate is synthesized in a lab, it is classified as "nature identical" - meaning it is chemically equivalent to molecules found in nature. Potassium sorbate effectively protects against micro-organisms such as fungi, mold, yeast, and bacteria in haircare products. Potassium sorbate is water-soluble, which makes it a perfect preservative for liquid shampoos and conditioners. It gives stability to the product, improving the efficacy of the product formulation. It is odorless and is effective in products with a wide pH range. This naturally-derived preservative is a viable alternative to harmful parabens, attributed to its popularity in the beauty industry.
How to use potassium sorbate in haircare?
Potassium Sorbate may be present in your haircare product, and you might already be using it in your shampoo and conditioner. It is used as a preservative that prevents your product from spoilage, keeping it fresh and increasing the shelf life of the product. It gives stability to the product formulation. Potassium Sorbate is always used in conjugation with other preservatives as it is not a broad-spectrum preservative. Potassium Sorbate is used in the product formula to prevent the degradation of the product and protect it from accidental contamination. This preservative is non-toxic and less irritating to your skin; hence extensively used in many haircare products.
How to choose potassium sorbate in haircare products?
To determine Potassium Sorbate in your haircare product, look for terms such as Sorbic acid potassium salt, Potassium sorbate, Potassium 2,4-hexadienoate, 2,4-Hexadienoic acid potassium salt on the list of ingredients of your product. If you come across any of these terms in your haircare product, then be assured that your haircare product has Potassium Sorbate.
Other ingredients it is compatible with
It works well with most of the ingredients present in the haircare product.
Side effects of potassium sorbate
The panel of experts has reviewed the safety of Potassium Sorbate. It has been established that Potassium Sorbate is a low-risk cosmetic ingredient that is non-toxic and non-irritating for your skin or scalp. On a scale from 1 to 10, one being the lowest risk of health implications and ten being the highest, Potassium Sorbate ranks a 3 out of 10. It is commonly used as a preservative in food, cosmetic and personal care products to keep them fresh and free from microbial contamination. It increases the product's shelf life, providing stability to the formulation of your haircare product.
Potassium Sorbate is safe for cosmetic and personal care products in a concentration of 1% or less. Potassium Sorbate can irritate your skin at a higher concentration, causing mild allergic reactions such as rashes, swelling, or itchy skin. If you experience any of these symptoms, immediately discontinue its use.
This food-grade preservative is considered non-toxic and non-irritating for your skin or scalp when used in moderate concentration in cosmetic products. It is a safer alternative to the harmful parabens found in most cosmetic products.
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