The Effects of Synthetic and Natural Cosmetic Preservatives on Human Skin Keratinocyte Cells and Zebrafish Embryos

Tuğba Sağır1, Yağmur Bulat1, Buse Süleymanoğlu1, Merve Zaim2, İsmail Ünal3, Ebru Işık Alturfan3

1Pim Grup Consultancy, Göktürk, İstanbul, Turkey

2Merva Zaim, Sankara Brain and Technology Research Center, Avcılar, İstanbul, Turkey

3Marmara University, Faculty of Dentistry, Basic Medical Sciences Department, İstanbul,Turkey


Preservatives are commonly used to protect cosmetic products from microbial contamination and extend the shelf life. However, there are concerns about the use of synthetic preservatives in cosmetics. Recent studies have discovered that some raw materials used as preservatives affect thyroid hormone metabolism and are a potential endocrine disruptor, in addition to skin diseases and allergic reactions. The aim of this study was to compare the anti-microbial activity and cytotoxic effects of commonly used synthetic and natural preservatives on human keratinocyte  (HaCaT) cells and zebrafish embryos. Cell cultere studies were determined by real time cell analysis (RTCA System) and colorimetric MTT Cell Viability Assay. Zebrafish is a model organism that has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its genetic similarity with humans. Moreover, external fertilization and rapid embryonic development of zebrafish embryos have made it attractive in many research areas. The effects of synthetic and natural preservatives were investigated on the development of zebrafish embryo.

As a result, although the antimicrobial activities of synthetic and natural preservatives are similar, natural preservatives are less toxic than synthetics.

Key words: Preservative, Cosmetic, Anti-microbial activity, Cytotoxicity, Fish embryo toxicity


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  3. Panico A, Serio F, Bagordo F, Grassi T, Idolo A, DE Giorgi M, Guido M, Congedo M, DE Donno A. Skin safety and health prevention: an overview of chemicals in cosmetic products. J Prev Med Hyg. 2019 Mar 29;60(1):E50-E57.

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