By Dr. Clarissa Shetler and Christine Falsetti, PhD
We all want our personal care products to be safe and free from bacteria growing in the products. However, there has been a lot of talk on the safety of some preservatives and how those risks outweigh the benefits. One preservative that is very common in many products is: Polyaminopropyl Biguanide. It is a potentially cancer-causing preservative used in many personal care products, including skincare, cosmetics, eyecare solutions, and surgery care.
It can also be listed on labels as polyaminopropyl biguanide (PABA) or polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB). While it does have antibacterial properties it is banned in a few European countries due to it being a Category 2 – carcinogenic classification.
The SCCS has concluded that Polyaminopropyl Biguanide is not safe for consumers when used as a preservative. However, this is only if it reaches the maximum concentration of 0.3%. Polyaminopropyl biguanide is not illegal to use in the US — so you will still see it in many of your products. There are still many debates on the safety profile of this ingredient.
But why roll the dice? We all have the power to make safe choices. Checking your labels for certain ingredients is the first step. At C2 we urge everyone to check the labels on all of the products they use on themselves and their families. We have a C2 naughty ingredient list if you want to learn which other ingredients to watch for — https://www.c2.sa360.wpengine.com/c2learn/
Check out the Bustle article about this topic that featured C2 and its founders: https://www.bustle.com/p/what-is-phmb-is-it-bad-why-this-skin-care-ingredient-isnt-banned-in-the-usa-70037