Hurdle Technology: A Paraben-Free Approach to Cosmetics

Hurdle technology

With the recent consumer hype of seeking paraben-free products, cosmetic manufacturers are faced with the challenge of creating new products that are still safe and free from harmful microorganisms. One solution to this might lie with hurdle technology.

Parabens have been used for decades as antimicrobial agents that can be easily incorporated into makeup, moisturizers, hair products, and other cosmetics. However, the publication of studies in the early 2000s alleged that parabens have estrogenic effects and suggested a link to the chemicals playing a role in breast cancer. This concern was escalated in 2004 when researchers further alleged the accumulation of parabens in human breast tumors. Many credible scientific experts have fully refuted these allegations.

Regardless of the accuracy and validity of the studies presented by researchers, the hype has led to consumers keeping their eyes open to the potential risk associated with paraben cosmetics, causing manufacturers of these products to seek an alternative solution.

Inolex is taking on a new approach to conquering this challenge: Hurdle Technology. Instead of using a single powerful preservative, such as parabens, Inolex is employing a variety of less-powerful antimicrobial components that work as a series of obstacles to control the presence of microorganisms, like how ‘hurdles’ tire out runners. Some of these components include mild organic acids, membrane disruptors and chelating agents, which cumulatively provide a powerful resistance to microorganisms.

Inolex is making significant progress in passing preservative efficacy tests, however, further research is being conducted to obtain optimal effectiveness in acidic and neutral environments. The consumer trends seem like they’re here to stay and investing in new paraben-free technology may be the only way to win consumers over in the world of cosmetics.

For more information, please contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are leading North American Regulatory and New Product Consultants for Medical DevicesNatural Health ProductsOTC DrugsCosmetics, and other consumer products regulated by Health Canada and the U.S. FDA.