Sodium anisate is a natural preservative derived from basil. It will typically be found in a blend along with sodium levulinate (another natural preservative) and glycerin. Preservatives are used in the formulation of cosmetics and personal care products in order to extend the shelf-life by preventing microbial contamination. The use of preservatives in cosmetics is important because these types of products have a high potential for microbial contamination and growth. The most susceptible products are creams and lotions that are packaged in jars, opened frequently, and applied to the skin with the fingers. Inadvertent contamination may also occur after the use of makeup brushes around the eyes or other parts of the face that touch the skin and the cosmetic repeatedly. Each use increases the chance for contamination. Microbial contamination can lead to significant health problems, from skin irritation to infections. To avoid these problems, a preservative like sodium anisate can be added to the formulation.