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Natural Preservatives That Aren't
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I'm surprised she didn't say tea tree oil. UGH!
September 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM
LeKenda – you're right. She left that one out. (snicker)
September 26, 2013 at 5:29 PM
Are there any natural preservatives that you would recommend?
September 28, 2013 at 9:37 PM
Hi Anon - I use benzyl alcohol to preserve many of my products. It has the broad spectrum properties that parabens offer, but it does bring a characteristic scent to the product. This can be 'worked with'. There is a blog post about it if you look under topics: preservatives. :)
September 28, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Great post, Lise! I've been researching 'natural' preservatives all week and it certainly makes for interesting reading. :)
October 3, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Thank you kindly Lorraine! have a great weekend
October 4, 2013 at 1:17 PM
Great article, Lise! It's amazing how much we want these things to be preservatives, to the point of putting our health and safety at risk. One of the reasons I don't use Pinterest is that there isn't a community to vet what gets posted. (Because you know if we posted something like Sharon's article, our readers would shout at us until we took it down!)
October 10, 2013 at 3:45 PM
Hi! This post that you've made is really intriguing. I just came to know about your blog through Tisserand Institute. The question still remains: is there such a thing called 'natural preservative' now that you've highlighted what most of us thought are actually not. Can propolis act as one since it's natural? Will love to hear from you soon!
June 13, 2019 at 5:14 PM
Great stuff as usual, simply put without ego or jargon for a very tired little worker ant like me to read...
June 13, 2019 at 11:11 PM
Hey there Dawn - Thanks for your comment! You ask an excellent question about whether or not natural preservatives exist, because the answer isn't as straightforward as one might imagine. Yes, there are natural preservatives, but this will depend on your definition of natural. There is no industry standard for what constitutes natural, so there are loads of interpretations of this term.
You ask about propolis being a possible preservative and the answer is (unfortunately) no. I will be touching on a few of these things at the upcoming free webinar at Tisserand Institute. If you've signed up, you'll get a bit more information. :)
June 14, 2019 at 10:56 AM
@Thewildirishskincare - Thank you kindly. I do try and make things clear and concise but admittedly, I was seriously peeved at the author of this article for not even attempting to check facts.
June 14, 2019 at 11:24 AM
When making beard oil, butter, or balm for men, do you need to add a preservative? Men sometimes like to use their products in the shower or straight out of the shower with wet hands, and I don't want fungus or mold to develop. I also don't want the perseverative to be harsh for their skin either.
September 28, 2020 at 10:07 PM
Hi Lucky Me — You might try letting packaging help on this end. Beard oil in a serum or pump bottle is not likely to get water into the contents. Balms might be packaged in tubes where the contents is dispensed out. That said, you can also add information to the packaging to ‘keep contents water free’. Adding a preservative to a product of this nature is going to have to be a judgement call. I suggest putting a few products through some rigorous testing with exposure to water and checking for microbial growth. I have seen anhydrous products pass these kinds of tests with flying colors and am guessing beard balms and oils might be just fine without preservatives. Only way to know for sure is to test. Best of luck with it :)
September 28, 2020 at 10:46 PM
Hi! Thanks for the informative article! It was really enlightening. I want to ask you about a recommended preservative for aloe vera gel? Your answer will help a lot. Thank you.
November 5, 2020 at 11:31 PM
Hi Unknown - If you check the label of (a large majority) of the aloe vera gel sold, you'll see that a combination of potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate seems to be the industry standard preservatives for this product.
November 6, 2020 at 12:23 PM
B’more Natural said…
Thank you for sharing this! I just came across a recipe for a natural healing sray via an IG alive. The ingredients included an infused herbal tea, rosemary and lavender essential oil. Im assuming that it still needs a preservative despite not being used on the skin. What kind of “natural” preservative works well in this situation?
December 7, 2020 at 1:39 PM
HI B'more Natural - If that is the entire ingredients list, there is an emulsifier/solubiliser missing as well. It's hard to comment on which preservative without knowing the entire formula.
December 7, 2020 at 1:41 PM
hi ! so what are some natural preservatives I can use to preserve cleaners or toners. Also, if I use black soap and liquify it with water & add purr aloe vera gel would I need a preservative being that the soap base already has one ?
March 10, 2021 at 11:50 AM
HI Anon-- If you visit my main site LisaLise.com and do a search for 'free e-book', you'll find an ebook with an overview of natural preservatives that may help. :)
March 11, 2021 at 11:25 AM
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