Bergstom: OptiMSM is a Personal Care Preservative


Bergstrom Nutrition says evidence suggests that when personal care products are formulated with at least 10% OptiMSM, the need to add preservatives may be eliminated.

Bergstrom Nutrition (Vancouver, WA), manufacturer of patented and GRAS-approved OptiMSM, says its methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) ingredient has potential to act as a preservative in personal care products.

MSM is traditionally used to reduce joint pain and inflammation, but Bergstrom says that studies now support OptiMSM for product preservative use, too.

OptiMSM is already used in a variety of personal care products, where it’s used primarily for cosmetic purpose, including nail strengthening, hair thickening, and skin softening. (The preservative effect is a bonus.)

“MSM has been utilized as a cosmetic ingredient for many years,” said Rodney Benjamin, Bergstrom’s director of technical development, to Nutritional Outlook. “The INCI (international nomenclature of cosmetic ingredients) name is dimethylsulfone. It has been listed in the [Personal Care Products Council’s] international ingredient dictionary for many years as a viscosity decreasing agent, and many companies have used it for joint health formulations as well as skin, hair, and nail formulations due to its relatively high sulfur content. MSM is 34% sulfur by weight, which has long been a valued ingredient in dermatology and may contribute to the cross linking of proteoglycans, a key component in connective tissue.”

The anti-microbial properties of MSM weren’t really looked at until Bergstrom Nutrition achieved GRAS status for OptiMSM in 2008, he explained. “This lead to further evaluation of the ingredient and its action in more complex matrices with much higher water activity than previously considered. Standard microbial challenge tests were performed, and the results indicated a truly antimicrobial action at the proper concentrations. This was a highly unsuspected result due to the extremely low toxicity of OptiMSM.”

“The antibacterial studies we conducted on numerous matrices clearly suggest that MSM should be viewed in a new light by the dermatology industry,” he stated.

For more information on MSM, contact Bergstrom or visit the company’s booth #248 at SupplySide MarketPlace in New York next month.

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