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A preservative is either a natural or synthetic ingredient which is added to products, such as foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, to prevent them from spoiling. Microbial growth and undesirable chemical changes render fresh products unusable very quickly.
Preservatives prevent product damage and protect them from accidental contamination which usually occurs during the use of the product. Cosmetic preservatives offer your homemade cosmetics protection against contamination, including the growth of mould, fungi, yeast and all manner of bacteria.
Without preservatives, cosmetics can become contaminated by microorganisms or degrade because of contact with oxygen. Contamination of cosmetics can lead to irritation and infections as well as product spoilage. Low levels of preservatives are added to cosmetics in order to make sure that the product is able to perform effectually throughout the length of time it takes a user to finish the product.