ABSTRACT: Care products for sensitive skin need careful selection of the used excipients. In order to get excellent compatibility with such challenging skin conditions, the use of conventional preservatives, fragrances and colouring agents as well as ethoxylated emulsifiers and mineral oils should be omitted. Modified glycols having emollient and humectant properties were used for the microbiological stabilization of cosmetic w/o and o/w systems. Their influence on the physical stability of such preparations and their antimicrobial efficacy was investigated. Based on their solubility properties, a mixture of caprylyl glycol and ethylhexylglycerin was found to be a suitable antimicrobial agent for o/w-preparations. In combination with a low water activity and a low ph value, this alternative preservation system also ensures a satisfying microbial stability in w/o-preparations.