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Preservative K


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Inci:Benzyl alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium sorbate, Aqua, Tocopherol

An efficient broad-spectrum, Palm Free Preservative that works with products which have a pH value less than 5.5. Suitable for use with leave on and rinse off products.


A clear, virtually colourless (the slightest hint of pale yellow) mobile liquid with a slight odour.
Preservative K offers a broad, balanced spectrum of effect against bacteria, yeasts and mould fungi.
The individual materials that make up Preservative K are listed on the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (CosIng) here.
The spectrum of activity is supplemented and balanced by the use of Benzyl Alcohol (effective against gram-positive bacteria) and Phenoxyethanol (effective against gram-negative bacteria).
Effective in anionic, cationic and non ionic systems.
The ingredients that make up Preservative K are all palm free.


Skin Care
Effective in oil in water (O/W) and water in oil (W/O) emulsions so can be used in creams and lotions for all skin types.
Hair Care
No direct hair care usage but it is effective in hair conditioners, hair packs and shampoos.
Use at 1% but it is safe to go as high as 1.5% for example when using herbal infusions and decoctions.
Always check with your cosmetic safety assessor to ensure the percentage is correct for your particular product.
Add to Stage 3 (below 40°C) as it is not heat stable above 80°C. It is only effective when the pH of the finished product is below 5.5.
It is completely ineffective if the product is higher than pH 5.5. It is soluble in glycerin but only partially soluble in water. Always weigh the amount of preservative used to get the correct percentage needed.
Clays are notoriously difficult to effectively preserve as they tend to pull the preservative in to itself, leaving the water stage under preserved.
We have found in our own tests, that Preservative K was effective when used at 1.5% but there are many other variable to take into account and you should only rely on the results of your own challenge tests.
Although some of the older publications still suggest using drops as a measure, this is not accurate as dropper sizes vary.
Suggested Blends
Do not blend different preservatives with each other unless you are experienced in this area and can have the result tested for efficacy.
If you are adding extra materials to a base product, you may need to add extra preservative as well.
Ensure the same preservative as the base product is used.


None when used in the correct manner.
For more information and guidance on making your own skin care products please see Aromantic's books and eBooks in our Publications section.
These notes are not meant to replace medical guidance and you should seek the advice of your doctor for your health matters.
The formulae are given in good faith and are intended for educational purposes only.They have not been evaluated or tested in any way and Aromantic Ltd. makes no claim as to their effectiveness.
It is up to the reader to ensure that any products they produce from these recipes are safe to use, and if relevant, compliant under current cosmetic regulations.


Here is a link to all non batch specific documents for this product Link to Technical Documents

If you have any questions about the documents or need the Certificate of Analysis (COA) for a product which you have recived, then please request that here.

Customer Reviews
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20 July 2022
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

Great service

Service, excellent I would have liked some more details on how much to use while blending with different mediums. I had hoped for a printed sheet of instructions with my order.

20 July 2022

Aromantic UK

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We appreciate your feedback. If you can't find the information you require on the product description please don't hesitate to contact us either by email or by telephone 01309 696900 The Aromantic Team

02 February 2021
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

Great preservative for helping to achieve ph levels

Love this. I thought it was going to be a nightmare as you have to have your ph levels of your product acidic in order to accommodate it. But once it was illustrated how to achieve this with help from their super technical department, it was plain sailing. Really pleased with it. Would recommend!

15 October 2020
Gill B.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I recommend this product

Exactly what I needed

I needed a preservative which extended the shelf life of my products without compromising the natural ingredients and this product delivered. I am very pleased.