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grapefruit seed extract

Labelled as Citrus paradisi (grapefruit) seed extract, this is often claimed as a natural preservative when added to cosmetics. However, research has demonstrated that it is not an ideal preservative agent, as it cannot protect against both the most common forms of growth—even in sealed, pump-style packaging. [1,2,3] Yes, citrus extracts can have preservative-like benefits, but they're simply not strong enough to defend against from a broad range of substances necessary to properly preserve a skincare product.

References Cited:

  1. von Woedtke T, Schlüter B, Pflegel P, Lindequist U, Jülich W. Aspects of the efficacy of grapefruit seed extract and its relation to preservative substances contained. Pharmazie. 1999;54(6):452-6.
  2. Cvetnic Z, Vladimir-Knezevic S. Preservative activity of grapefruit seed and pulp ethanolic extract. Acta Pharm. 2004;54(3):243-50.
  3. Takeoka G, Dao L, Wong R, Lundin R, Mahoney N. Identification of benzethonium chloride in commercial grapefruit seed extracts. J Agric Food Chem. 2001;49(7):3316-20.

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