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What is "Dehydroacetic Acid" and what is its utility?

What is "Dehydroacetic Acid" and what is its utility?

Preservatives serve to neutralise the proliferation of microorganisms in skincare products. They are divided into two categories: preservatives derived from nature and synthetic preservatives. Dehydroacetic Acid falls into the first category. This ingredient respects the balance of bacterial flora. Here's what you need to know about Dehydroacetic Acid.

All you need to know about Dehydroacetic Acid

Used as a preservative in skincare, the function of dehydroacetic acid is to prevent the proliferation of microorganisms. It is present in:

  • Baby cleansing wipes;

  • Facial cleansing wipes;

  • Makeup remover wipes;

  • Eye contour care;

  • Night facial creams.

Biodegradable, dehydroacetic acid poses no risk to the environment or health. Although this ingredient is permitted in organic products, it is prohibited in aerosol type sprays. Preservatives allowed in organic products are synthetically reproduced and found in nature. In addition to Dehydroacetic Acid, other preservatives are permitted for natural and organic care, namely:

  • Benzyl Alcohol;

  • Sodium Benzoate;

  • Sorbic Acid;

  • Potassium Sorbate.

The Utility of Dehydroacetic Acid

Derived from a pyrone, Dehydroacetic Acid is used as:

  • Bactericidal;

  • Fungicide ;

  • pH Regulator.

It is also used as a food additive under the number E265.

Preservatives such as Dehydroacetic Acid ensure the protection of water-containing skincare products. Furthermore, they prevent the formation of harmful microorganisms before the skincare product is opened and throughout its period of use.

Dehydroacetic Acid slows down the growth of microbes such as fungi, bacteria, parasites, or viruses.

Whether organic or not, a skincare product deteriorates over time. This degradation is evidenced by a change in colour, smell, or texture. Therefore, the law requires protection against any external microbial contamination, which necessitates the use of preservatives.

Choosing a treatment containing dehydroacetic acid can reduce the risk of microbial growth in treatments with a watery texture (such as creams, milks or shower gels).

Dehydroacetic Acid: What are the risks?

The issue with Dehydroacetic Acid lies in its potential to irritate or cause allergies, which can disrupt the skin's microbial flora. Carefully incorporated into skincare products, each preservative undergoes rigorous testing to ensure consumer safety. Although preservatives help to ensure the safety of skincare products, some of them are considered major drawbacks.

Some advice on the use of skincare products

Before applying your skincare product, rinse your hands. Keep it protected from light and heat. If you have any doubts about the smell or colour, do not hesitate to replace it.

In conclusion, Dehydroacetic Acid is classified among emerging allergens. Therefore, this ingredient should not be used in aerosols. You should opt for authorised preservatives, favouring those that are less sensitising and less irritating. It is important to consider the benefits and risks of each preservative, particularly in the case of a sensitive individual.


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