Q: How are organic and natural cosmetics kept from "going bad" without preservatives (like parabens)? -Elitsa Somleva
A: Preservatives are a necessary part of personal care products. Without preservatives, creams and gels would become a breeding ground for microbes. Essential oils can be used as organic preservatives to prevent the growth of or destroy microorganisms that would otherwise damage the products.
The problem is not preservatives, almost all products require them. Preservatives allow the products a longer shelf life without going rancid or growing bacteria. So the issue isn't preservatives, it's the cheap, widely used, and possible dangerous preservatives that people should be concerned about. Parabens are suspected endocrine disruptors, quaternium-15 is a formaldehyde releaser and some of the newer preservatives used by mainstream personal care companies to replace parabens are no better. Certainly some products do not contain any preservatives especially those that do not contain water, but they are few and far between. Meanwhile, vitamin E is a great preservative for some products, and other lines like Intelligent Nutrients have come up with their own blends of essential oils that do a great job preserving their products.
Jessa Blades founded Blades Natural Beauty in 2008 and was named one of Glamour Magazine's 70 Eco-Heroes in 2009. She was trained at the Makeup Artistry School in Toronto and later worked for MAC Cosmetics before switching to natural beauty products. Jessa lives in New York City and works for various fashion, beauty and bridal clients. She believes women can have it both ways live healthy and look beautiful.
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