Today’s off-the-shelf cosmetics are filled with various chemicals and additives to produce a product that performs effectively for the consumer; however, the industry has been steering towards more natural products that are marketed to be safer and healthier for consumers. In particular, facial moisturizers have shown a shift from synthetic additives, such as benzoyl peroxide, to naturally found additives, including tea tree oil and aloe vera. Unfortunately, there is a lack of accessibility to data confirming or denying the effectiveness of the various additives used in cosmetic products. This study aimed to determine the performance differences, if any, among natural and synthetic antimicrobial additives that are commonly advertised in facial moisturizers. This was to be completed by preparing a number of facial moisturizer formulations that varied in the antimicrobial additive. Each moisturizer was then to be tested for both rheological properties, focused on physical properties/performance, and antimicrobial properties. The formulations were to be tested with Corynebacterium acnes to observe differences in the ability of the additive to limit or prevent the growth of the acne-causing bacteria. The results of the tests would give both quantitative and empirical results to determine if the natural additives can provide equivalent efficacy and consumer health and safety in place of harsh synthetic chemicals. Meaningful results would help to fill the gap that exists in cosmetic research data available to the public due to the confidential nature of industrial research during product development.
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