We feel strongly that our customers should know what is in the products they purchase. This will allow them to make informed, educated decisions and avoid potential health risks. In keeping we not only include labels or cards with a listing of ingredients for each bath, and toiletry item that we sell but offer this listing of base ingredients for our general stock items.
Within our ingredients listing of certain products, you will notice the use of preservatives. If you are allergic to one or more of these ingredients, then it would certainly be wise to avoid them. If, however these preservatives are being avoided solely because of the current trend of avoiding anything which contains a chemical compound, please allow us to offer this somewhat less than politically correct perspective on the matter of Preservatives and “All Natural” toiletry products.
It is required by the FDA to include an anti microbial preservative in lotions, creams and any cosmetic or toiletry product sold to the general public (with a few exceptions such as bar soap and salts) which contains or comes in contact with water.
Be aware that while a number of “All Natural “ products may claim to be” preservative free” or use “all natural preservatives”, they most often are relying on an antioxidant such as Vitamin E (tocopherol) or Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) to preserve the product. Antioxidants retard spoilage, a very important process, but an antioxidant does not combat the potential health risk of microbial growth.
Microbial contamination is unavoidable unless one lives in a bubble. It occurs naturally though product creation, packaging and particularly through consumer product usage. An antioxidant can not effectively combat microbial contamination. Only an actual microbial retarding compound can do that.
This why it is a very important to understand the distinction between an antioxidant and an antimicrobial when seeking to reliably combat microbial growth and potential product contamination. Vitamin E and Grapefruit seed extract are NOT preservatives. They are Antioxidants and help prolong the shelf live of less stable oils so that they do not go rancid. We stress this point out of concern for consumers as it is becoming increasingly popular for small manufacturers to rely on GSE as the active preservative in many All Natural toiletry products.
As disillusioning as it may be, to date, there are no proven “All Natural” microbial retardants that can be used reliably in toiletry products at levels which will fall below toxicity. This includes the many essential oil extracts with proven antiseptic properties. They are fine in small doses, but can not be used in sufficient amount as an antimicrobial without incurring photosensitivity, skin irritation and toxic reaction.
Cosmetics and toiletry products that are sold to the general public which contain or come in contact with water (with the exception of soap, oil based product and dry salts) and do not contain antimicrobial preservatives must be labeled with a “use by” date and should always be treated as if they were perishable foodstuffs.
Everything we use in a product serves a specific purpose. We craft our products using gentle and natural ingredients and we do not add chemical preservatives where it is not necessary and when we must use them, they are added in the lowest viable amount. But because we value the health and well being of our customers far above marketing trends or popular advertising slogans, our products are as “All Natural” as is reliably safe to our customers for them to be.