WP6 Antimicrobial agents for cosmetics

Leader of consortium:

Centrum organické chemie s.r.o.

Consortium members:

Biomedica, spol. s r. o., Státní zdravotní ústav, Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci

Responsible person:

Ing. Lubomír Kubáč, Ph.D.

Duration of the work package:

01/2014 – 12/2019


It will be necessary to incorporate the selected antibacterial agents investigated during the project R&D activities (WP2 and 3) into final cosmetic
products. Nearly all products, which are used in cosmetics, are endangered by microbial attack. This attack is dangerous not only from the point
of damage for relatively expensive products, but mainly for human health. Bacteria strains in cosmetic products cause the formation of several
different toxins, which represent high risk for human health during a long-term exposure. The working capacity of this work package will be
focused on suggestion of suitable safe antibacterial protection for all types of cosmetic products, as body lotions, body oils, body creams, skin
creams, face creams, eye creams, lip balms, face cleansing milks, tonics and gels, hand and foot creams, hair shampoos, hair conditioners,
shower creams, bath oils, intimate shower gels for women, baby cosmetics, sunscreen products, etc. New antimicrobial agents will be tested in
the suggested cosmetic products. WP will include he following tasks:

Task 6.1, Polymer based antimicrobial agents for cosmetics

Preservatives, which are commonly used in cosmetic applications, will be incorporated in polymer structure, as it is described in the WP3.
The obtained polymer will be prepared in the form of aqueous dispersion, which is commonly applicable into cosmetic products; the second
possibility is to prepare this product in solid state, which is possible to mix simply in the cosmetic products. Integration of antimicrobial agents into
the polymer structure is in cosmetics unusual but it brings a new quality of antimicrobial protection of cosmetic products. The irritation of human
skin represents one of the main problems of standard preservatives used in the cosmetic emulsions. Most of the biocides, which were used
ten or more years ago, cannot be used nowadays, because they cause sensitization of human skin. So far, preservatives are used in the form
of small molecular organic compounds, which simply penetrate into upper skin layer and can influence microbial balance of the skin. These
changes may lead to dermatosis or skin sensitization. The application of a safe form of preservatives into polymer structure prevents these
simultaneous adverse effects. The polymerized preservatives are stable, do not penetrate into skin and remain on skin surface, therefore playing
a key role in the skin protection. The aim of this task is to verify the compatibility of various types of cosmetic products with polymer dispersions of antimicrobial agents. This will possibly help to suggest the final formulation composition, which will enable the application of these additives.

R&D plan presumes the application tests of several polymer antimicrobial agent types.

Task 6.2, Silver based antimicrobial agent for cosmetics

Similar situation to polymer bonded organic preservatives is with the antimicrobial silver-based agents. Nowadays, silver nanoparticles
(AgNPs) are commonly used in a variety of applications especially thanks to their activity against a wide range of both gram positive and gram
negative bacteria. Studies from the last years showed that the application of nanoparticles of any additives for the cosmetic products should not
necessarily bring only advantages of the end-product. These nanoparticles exhibit unique properties, which cannot be compared with standard
application form of these additives. Nevertheless, the danger for human health is still rather difficult to describe. These particles could simply
penetrate into the skin or get easily into human respiratory system. The incorporation of these particles on the stable carrier, which prevents
release of these NPs into the environment, is one of the most preferred ways of application. The studies describing a covalent bonding of silver
precursor antimicrobial agents show that this way of application of silver agents is a correct one. It will be necessary to suggest optimal form
of polymer carrier for particular cosmetic applications. UPOL will deliver various kinds of stabilized AgNPs exhibiting high antibacterial and
antifungal effects. They will be tested for enhancement of antimicrobial applications of various cosmetic products. Synergic effects of the AgNPs
and commercial antifungal agents will be also intensively studied. The final compositions will be determined based on the evaluation of the
optimized concentration of the antimicrobial agent, size of the NPs and the type of NP surface modification.

Task 6.3, Study of antimicrobial efficiency of new preservatives in cosmetic applications

All polymer antimicrobial agents will be studied from the point of view of efficiency against microbial attack, mainly after application in the cosmetic
products. Challenge tests will be performed to evaluate resistance of the formulation against microbial attack. Subsequently, influence on human
health will be assessed using exclusively in vitro methods in compliance with legislation valid for cosmetic products.

Task 6.4 Suggestion of new antimicrobial agents for cosmetic applications

The final part of WP6 will be dedicated to the critical selection of suggested antimicrobial agents for particular cosmetic applications. This activity
is necessary before start of the commercialization of these products. This task will be closely connected with WP9 focused on up scaling of
optimized technologies and WP8 focused on biological studies. The industrial partner, Biomedica, will finish laboratory evaluation and will
suggest the formulations, which will be then verified in pilot plant conditions and subsequently used for long term studies of quality of cosmetic
products protected by a new type of antimicrobial agents with no adverse effect on human health.

Project no. TE02000006 is solved with financial support
from the Technology Agency of the CR.