Potassium Sorbate 100g


What Is Potassium Sorbate?

Potassium sorbate is a mild preservative that is used in skincare, cosmetics, and body care formulations. It is used to extend the shelf-life of your products by preventing the growth of bacteria, fungi, and molds. It is also used as an alternative to parabens.

To boost activity against yeast and mold, consider combining this preservative with Phenoxyethanol.

10 in stock

SKU: potassium sorbate Category: Tag:


Potassium sorbate is the inactive salt of sorbic acid. It readily dissolves in water where it converts to sorbic acid, its active form, at a low pH. Sorbic acid is very pH dependent.

While it shows some activity up to pH 6 (about 6%), it is most active at pH 4.4 (70%). At pH 5.0 it is 37% active. As sorbic acid, it is considered to be active against mold, fair against yeast and poor against most bacteria. Sorbic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid and as such is subject to oxidation (use of an antioxidant like Mixed Tocopherols T50 is recommended). It is also sensitive to UV light and may turn yellow in solution.  Gluconolactone is reported to stabilize potassium sorbate against discoloration and darkening in aqueous solutions and may be useful in stabilizing sorbic acid in the water phase of a product.

Sorbic acid can cause contact dermatitis at concentrations above or below 0.5%. Studies show that if it is used at a concentration of no more than 0.2% it is unlikely to constitute a safety hazard.

Potassium sorbate is not a broad spectrum preservative for cosmetic use and should be combined with other preservatives. If potassium sorbate is used as a preservative, the pH of the finished product may need to be reduced for potassium sorbate to be effective.  This is because potassium sorbate is the inactive salt form of sorbic acid.  To be useful, the pH of the formulation must be low enough to release the free acid for useful activity.

Following is a chart to of the relative activity at various pH:

Activity of Sorbic Acid
pH % Active Sorbic Acid
3 98
4 85
5 37
6 5.5
7 0

All cosmetic products should undergo microbial testing to ensure the efficacy of any preservative system.

INCI: Potassium Sorbate

Formulation guide

At temperatures above 60°C (140°F), potassium sorbate can begin to sublime. Add to the water phase of formulations at a temperature below 60°C (140°F). If adding it after oil and water phases have been combined, predissolving the required potassium sorbate in a portion of the water phase will make it easier to incorporate into the formed emulsion. Use in formulations with pH 5 or lower.

Recommended Use Levels: 0.1% – 0.5%
Appearance: Extruded, Spherical Powder
Solubility: Soluble in water up to 58%

Dissolve in the water phase.

Adjust the final pH to around 4.4 for maximum efficacy.

Potassium sorbate is not effective at all in products with a pH over 6, so please adjust your formulation accordingly.

Include Vitamin E in the formulation as an antioxidant.


There are no reviews yet

Be the first to review “Potassium Sorbate 100g”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *