A couple of weeks back I had an exchange of comments with a fellow blogger about preservatives. She was optimistic that developments in science will soon produce safer preservatives for the cosmetic industry. This started me thinking about preserving methods currently in use and where new developments may come from.
There are three broad methods of preservation in use by the cosmetic industry today:
1. Going water free
This is the most straightforward preservation method – where there is no water there is no life. Simple.
This is how granny used to make her ointments. Today we are benefiting from a much wider choice of vegetal oils and butters than granny ever had, so it is possible to make combinations that feel lighter and quicker to absorb into the skin.
There is no guarantee that a water-free product will be also free from preservatives. Some manufacturers add preservatives anyway, in case the product gets mixed with water during use. But if you check the labels you will be able to find oils, balms and ointments with no added preservatives.
Over the last few years, consumers have been gradually getting more used to water-free, oil-based cleansers and moisturisers and it possible these products may continue to increase in popularity.
2. Preserving with substances that kill microbes (biocides)continue reading