Natural preservatives in skin care products

essential oils
Image from Crystalwood Naturals

If you’re into natural and organic products, you are probably aware that they do not use synthetic preservatives like parabens or urea-derivatives. So how do such products maintain their integrity to prevent microbial growth and spoilage?

Essential oils
Essential oils such as tea tree oils, ecalyptus, lavender, lemon, rosemary, sage, sandalwood are commonly used. Usually, they are used in conjunction with other natural preservatives because the percentage required to adequately protect a product from microbial growth generally exceeds the recommendations for safe amounts of essential oils to use in skin care products.

Anti-oxidants extend the shelf life of your products by reducing the rate of oxidation of your oils.   Vitamin E is a good source of antioxidant often used as a natural preservative.  It can come in the form of natural (d-tocopherol) or synthetic (dl-tocopherol) but do note that only the natural vitamin E has antioxidant value.  Rosemary oil extract, which acts as a natural antioxidant is also commonly used.  Other less common antioxidants used as a natural preservative are bee propolis and manuka honey, both of which are shown to have high antibacterial qualities.

Grapefruit Seed Extract
Another somewhat common antimcirobial ignredient which is getting popular in usage is Grapefruit Seed Extract, made with the extracts of citrus seeds and pulp.

Sources of information
You can find out more information about natural preservatives by reading these websites: From Nature With LoveBotanical Skin Works and Making Cosmetics.

Limited shelf life
It should also be known that products that uses such natural preservatives typically have a shorter life span than those using synthetic preservatives, and the shelf life could be anything between six months and a year.

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  1. pf1123 says:

    Nice post.

    I just bought 2 500ml bottles of Ahava botanical range of body wash at the robinson sale at expo yesterday.

    No SLS, no paraben, etc. I think there are quite a lot of these natural stuff in there.

  2. sesame says:

    That must be the new range! I was eyeing it but it wasn’t on sale. Lucky you!

  3. pf1123 says:

    Hmmm…my reply was gone after I click submit!

    Anyway, its 2 for $36 at the sale.

    Until end of the week I think.

  4. sesame says:

    I didn’t see an earlier reply but I found this in the spam folder. Sometimes this happens with other comments too that’s why I always sieve through that folder to ensure legitimate ones are flagged out as approved again.

    Wow 2 for $36! Quite a good deal cos I remember the bottle was a good size. But Expo is quite a distant for me leh…

  5. pf1123 says:

    Yeah. I enjoyed using the micro peeling shower cream so much. Its really good to wash away the tiredness at the end of the day.

    I got up earlier this morning to shower, hoping that I can have a fresh start! Normally, I shower not long before I sleep, so I don’t shower in the morning.

    I was dragging myself to expo…but I heard some good makeup deals. But its gone when I reach as there’s a preview of the sale for card members.

    Anyway, I’m glad I got the shower creams.

  6. sesame says:

    That’s nice! I like the idea of pampering myself in the shower. These days I only use the Yuan soaps – not much pampering. I’ll see if I can find some time to get there.

  7. keinan says:

    Is there any way to lighten ur skin permanently without ur complexion been reversed if u eventually stop usin the lightening product?

  8. Sesame says:

    Well, you will need to sort the help of dermatologists in this but I’m not sure how safe these procedures are.

  9. pary says:

    Hi, Good morning, nowadays, I hope that you will have a lot of surprises in the morning and in the morning.
    This is my link.

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