All Preservatives are NOT Created Equally

After I posted about my upcoming Product Spotlight series, I received a comment from one of my wonderful readers and followers, Jonathan.? Here is what he had to say:

“I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and I’m finding that I’m paying more attention to how I take care of my own skin/body because of it.

One of my fellow teaching colleagues has a side business where they make soaps, and I’ve been a customer of theirs for a while now just for giving gifts, I’m thinking of trying some for myself. One of the great things is that they list all their ingredients on their website.
I’ve noticed that they do use some preservatives in their soaps, but I’ve researched them online and it seems to be paraben free preservatives. I’m interested in what you have to say about their products!”

Jonathan brings up a very important point about preservatives.? Not all of them are harmful.? I’ve talked a lot about avoiding parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, and now it is time to tell you about a couple of preservative ingredients that are safer choices.

    • Ethylhexylglycerin: This is an ingredient which is derived from glycerin (a safe, multi-functional ingredient that is derived from vegetable oils), that is not only a preservative but also has moisturizing properties.? It is one of the safest preservatives I have come across. It is often used in combination with sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate.
    • Colloidal Silver: This multi-functional ingredient is wonderful as a preservative, and is very safe.? It is anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and germicidal.
    • Vodka: I first heard of using vodka as a preservative in the Babushka’s Beauty Secrets book. I did some more research and found that yes, it can be used safely in small concentrations to extend the life of skincare products.
    • Essential Oils: Many therapeutic-grade essential oils are very high in naturally occurring antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. When used in the correct percentages in combination with other natural antimicrobials, they can help preserve.
    • Some other ingredients that preserve, just not as well, are citric acid, apple cider vinegar, and certain antioxidants.

The company Jonathan was referring to is called Bunny Butt Apothecary (I know, cutest name EVER).? They are a naturally based bath and body product company that also has a philosophy of using ingredients that do not pose potential health risks.? They publish their ingredient list, as well as very helpful descriptions of the ingredients on their website.? They also have a great article that discusses how not all natural ingredients are safe and not all synthetic ingredients are toxic that is worth a read.

Bunny Butt Apothecary uses a preservative called Optiphen, which is a combination of Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl Glycol.? This is a safer option than paraben or formaldehyde, even though some of the above choices are considered to be safer by the EWG’s Skin Deep Report.? Still, I have to give Bunny Butt Apothecary my Holistically Haute thumbs up for having a great philosophy, providing their customers with great information, and for being open and honest with their ingredients.? And of course for making me smile whenever I see or say the name Bunny Butt!? I’d love to see them do a facial skin care line…

Thank you again, Jonathan, for reading, and commenting.? I look forward to reading and responding to more comments from you and my other readers!

2017 UPDATE: Natural preservation is not a straightforward or simple discussion. I teach about it extensively in my online Create Your Skincare course. Click HERE to start with the prerequisite mini-course, Boutique Skincare Basics.

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