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Are Preservatives Needed Or Safe In Natural Skincare Products?

Preservatives Make Our Skin Care Products Safer

Despite the evidence to the contrary of a belief by some that organic to completely natural creams and cleansers are best for us, this concept is devoid of a real understanding of what they are actually putting on their skin. 

The truth of the matter is, they simply cannot withstand the touching of fingers, the temperature extremes in shipping, or handle the climate changes in a bathroom.  This includes that false sense of security that is inferred that by keeping them in the refrigerator will maintain freshness, when in reality this does no more than prolong a cream similar to that of raw produce.  It all goes bad within a matter of days.

Natural skincare is definitely food for our skin, but it is also food for bacteria since natural ingredients produce sugars after processed into your liquid or cream emulsion. 

When the non-controlled environment is moist, such as damp hands or a steamy bathroom, the growth rate is accelerated at an alarming rate.

We have investigated the best available preservative system for keeping our ONATI skincare products fresh and safe to maintain skin health.  We looked at a natural preservative free equation, pondered over naturally preserved skincare using the 'hurdle' technology, along with synthetically preserved to a combination of naturally and synthetically preserved skin care.

The latter of all of these options we felt was the safest and best for keeping our skincare products free from bacteria, mold, fungi and yeast.  And for those that don't like 'parabens', you don't have to have them in your products for keeping your skincare regimen safe.

Other Natural Skin Care Manufacturers Try To Make The Argument

There are some that formulate the so called, "all natural" skincare, such as creams, lotions and serums that are not emulsified with water or distillates, so they feel this allows them to have preservative free skincare products.  Although it is part true, it is still not a guarantee of safety!  So, if a skincare formulator makes the claim they don't use water or distillates, move on.  The truth of the matter is, once you open a jar or bottle which allows humidity or the touching of damp fingers to enter the emulsion, whether it is body scrubs, body butters, face creams or masques, it is now contaminated and the multiplying of bacteria grows exponentially.  It only takes a trace amount of water to begin the growth process and it won't matter their claim. 

It should be noted though, products in airless pumps which are protected from the bathroom environment are one way to safeguard the consumer aside from preservatives, but shelf life will still play a vital role.  Also, can a natural skincare formulator guarantee that the purchase of their raw ingredients arrived bacteria free?  Fact is, raw ingredients can already be contaminated with pathogens which are harmful to skin health, further making the argument for the use of some sort of preservative system.

Below is an example of a cream preserved using "hurdle" technology through the use of natural ingredients which contain preserving constituents for different types of protection.  But as you can see here, this is what the jar looked like with a time lapse of 2- 4 months.  We would have showed you the final stage of the growth at 6 months, but at the risk of making you ill we opted to leave it out.  Let's just say it resembled some sort of a chia pet.  Also what you may think looks like mold is actually bacterial growth exploding and is confused for mold.


From these photos it is obvious a good preservative system is lacking.  Only a well preserved skincare product is a safe one. 

Better Safe Than Sorry When It Comes To Skin Health

The thing to be cognizant of also, these pictures are showing you the actual invasion of the microbes which means this skin cream was contaminated long before you can see the product going bad.  Creams can still look and smell great, but it doesn't make them free from contaminants.  Only Micro testing can achieve the results a lab is looking for to determine the efficacy of their chosen preservative.  Furthermore, bacteria and mold spores are more dangerous and harmful to the safety of our skin health than a miniscule amount of preservative designed to give us peace of mind on what we are consuming.

The over inflated warnings about the dangers of preservatives (parabens in particular) is not only ridiculous, but not even worthy of consideration when you look at the actual danger if a product is sold without them.  This is why our entire line of ONATI Skin Care is a combination of botanically and synthetically preserved, yet still remains paraben free based on consumer demand.

12-month-expiration-symbol.gifAll of our key ingredients are naturally and botanically derived and are micro tested before being added to the emulsion to make sure they have arrived to the lab in excellent condition to begin with.  The completed emulsions were then challenge tested for longevitity of shelf life (approx. 2 yrs minimum to a max of 3 yrs unopened) and for the "open jar" staying power we recommend on our labels.  You will find this on the back of every skincare product of ours with a tiny open jar emblem displaying the months it remains safe after opening.  This emblem is required by the European Union for selling in foreign markets and we comply with their stringent requirements. 

So next time you may think that an organically prepared product that is preservative free or naturally preserved is the way to go, and how wonderful this may seem, just take a look at these pictures once again to remind you of the actual outcome from purchasing products that are supposedly created to keep harmful chemicals from our bodies.  I believe the end result is far worse to our skin and warrants caution.

Staph for instance, is a common bacteria that lives on skin naturally.  However when conditions are right and they are allowed to grow in a nutritionally rich jar of face cream for lack of a synthetic preservative component, a staph infection will cause you to take a trip to the hospital and could have dire consequences.  In this type of instance, no argument for going completely 'au naturale' in our skincare products can be made.

Keep your skin safe and healthy using only skincare products combining science with nature for a healthy skincare regimen.