By Donald S. Orth (ed.), Jon J. Kabara (ed.), Stephen P. Denyer (ed.), S. K. Tan (ed.)

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SELF-PRESERVING PRODUCTS Although cosmetics and OTC drugs are not necessarily intended to be sterile, satisfactorily preserved aqueous formulations in multiple-use containers have a preservative system that makes them self-sterilizing. The preservative system created by the physicochemical composition of the formula (with or without the addition of chemical preservatives) should be able to kill A History of Cosmetic Microbiology in the United States 19 contaminating microorganisms and/or prevent their growth.

Wetting and cleaning solutions must cope with chance contamination and so must contain a preservative. Benzalkonium chloride is unsuitable as a preservative in solutions for washing and storing hydrophilic soft contact lenses. Soaking solutions serve a dual purpose in disinfecting the lenses and also maintaining them in a hydrated state. The antimicrobial agents employed for disinfection are usually those used in eye drops (PMN, PMA, chlorhexidine diacetate, benzalkonium chloride, thiomerosal, and chlorbutanol) but at a lower concentration.

Basis of many diseases. Genetic engineering is being used in the manufacture of raw materials, hormones, and drug-active ingredients, and in the synthesis of improved antibiotics. Cosmetic microbiology is borrowing information from the food industry to address preservation issues. Application of the principles of preservation, or ‘‘hurdle technology,’’ is helping formulation scientists find ways to reduce levels of preservatives or make products that are self-preserving. During the past decade, there has been increasing emphasis on validating methods to make sure that they reliably measure what they are intended to measure.

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