One of the most important ingredients in skin care is preservatives and has become one of the most controversial and debatable topic in the skincare industry and of all the ingredients in skincare formulations and products and are the most important ingredient to keep you and the product safe. Some people with little scientific knowledge have started a frenzy about preservatives used in cosmetics and skin care products. They use all sorts of half-truths and research data out of context to fuel to a campaign to scare consumers. These dangerous Anti-preservative campaigns are without understanding the natural environment of a bathroom where 99.9% of skincare is used and the hygiene level of the users.
What is worse is you will see skincare companies promote preservative free skincare. The bathroom is an environment that fosters mould and bacteria growth and skincare is a great food source for these microorganisms. “Preservative Free” cosmetics are simply dangerous and illegal. It is not a legal requirement to use preservatives in skincare but it is illegal to make potentially toxic and harmful skin care products and this is why we have them in our skincare products to ensure safety. It is important to understand what preservatives do for you and your products.
What are Preservatives?
Preservatives are that are used at a very low level to ensure that the product is not affected by mole, bacteria and other microorganisms that affect the safety and health of you and the product. Without preservatives, cosmetic products, just like food, can become contaminated, leading to product spoilage and possibly irritation or infections. Microbial contamination of products, especially those used around the eyes and on the skin, can cause significant problems. Preservatives help prevent such problems.
How do Preservatives work?
Preservatives are an antimicrobial ingredient that prevents the growth of molds, yeasts, and bacteria. They also work as an anti-oxidant to prevent oxygen damage, which keeps skincare products from becoming rancid or brown, or developing black spots. Rancid skincare products may not make you sick, but they might smell bad or be a different color or consistency.
Negative effects of preservatives in cosmetics
There are some preservatives that have inherent adverse effects, which can cause skin allergies in susceptible people, including dermatitis and other side effects. Many skincare companies including Zen De Jour avoid the use of these harsh cheap preservatives. It is important to include enough preservative to control microbial growth, yet not too much so as to cause allergies, dermatitis or any side effects. Zen de Jour chooses to use eco-friendly that is super effective and very mild on the skin that will not cause any allergies or side effects.
Are there effective natural preservatives?
The answer is yes and no. The yes is that there are several pure natural preservatives but only gives the product a 3 to 6 month (safe) shelf life span. Which is not long enough unless they are made and sold then used within this time. Personally I have products that I have bought 2 years ago from duty free and not even opened. If they had used pure natural preservative I would have to throw it away. Also many of these natural preservatives can change the density and experience of the product for example a moisturizer may not glide onto the skin with ease.
One of my favorite preservative is Phenoxyethanol.
Phenoxyethanol offered a universal, highly effective broad-spectrum protection for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mold, yeast and fungi. It is NOT formaldehyde releasing agent and probably the most paraben free and propylene glycol free preservative on the market. It works extremely well in small amounts at least then 0.06% concentration team with vitamin E to combat anti-oxidants.
Last Word: If you see a company boldly state that their product are “preservative free” – you know they are either lying or are selling potentially fatal goods to you. It is like playing Russian roulette with your skin and health.