A Talk on Preservatives in Natural Skincare

True to our mission of pure, clean and natural, we are committed to staying far away from artificial or synthetic additives in all of our beauty products, however we don’t shy away from natural varieties that can help to extend the shelf-life of our products without compromising or inhibiting the benefits of the wholesome, natural ingredients contained within.

Whilst commercial products are typically loaded with man-made preservatives to reduce the potential for spoilage during the often-lengthy period between the time of manufacture and the time a product is finished, unlike conventional varieties, the natural products we use and love favour whole-ingredient alternatives that can be safely used by those with sensitive or easily aggravated skin.


As with any natural ingredient, the lifespan of products utilizing natural preservatives will not be as long as those including artificial selections, so to ensure you’re making the most out of your natural skincare it is important to take note of the use-by date specified. Additionally, direct sunlight and UV rays, oxygen, heat, moisture and bacteria from your fingers can all be detrimental to preservative-free products, so it is important to ensure that your natural skincare is protected and preserved as best as possible after opening. There are a number of considerations that we always make sure to take when it comes to sustaining the life of our natural products; making sure to store them in dark containers or spaces to reduce exposure to sunlight and heat, ensuring they are always closed tightly after use to prevent oxidization and rancidity and avoiding using our fingers when applying to minimise bacterial contamination.


Whilst the way you use and store your natural beauty products will most definitely add to the longevity of your skincare, when it comes to formulating the best possible product, natural preservatives really are key. Here are a few of our favourite natural alternatives that you can find within the products in our green beauty cabinets...

+ Neem Oil: one of the most commonly used natural preservative on the market today, neem oil has been used in India since Sanskrit times for its potent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial benefits.

+ Salt (sodium chloride): another common all-natural preservative, salt is one of the most effective thanks to its unique chemical reaction when added to water based substances. Binding to water molecules, salt inhibits the bacterium that causes spoilage, drawing out moisture to create an environment that does not facilitate bacteria growth.

+ Honey: is known for being highly stable against microbial growth because of it’s low moisture content and water activity, low pH and anti-microbial constituents.

+ Bee Propolis: is a mixture of beeswax and resins collected by the honeybee offering both antibacterial and antifungal properties.

+ Rosemary Extract: acting as a natural antioxidant, rosemary extract counteracts aging processes such as browning, thickening and wrinkling.

+ Grapefruit Seed Extract: A natural antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant and preservative. According to published sources it is effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral organisms, 100 strains of fungus, and a large number of single-cell and multi-celled parasites.

+ Essential Oils: Essential oils are the most natural antimicrobials you will find. Essential oils that have demonstrated the most impressive antimicrobial activity include caraway, cinnamon, clove, cumin, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood and thyme.

Vitamin E: not actually a formal preservative but because it is a potent antioxidant it will hep to prolong the lifetime of natural products, especially oils. A good quality and high strength formula will also help to promote the healing of scars, stretch marks and improve overall skin health.

Which preservatives do we always avoid?

Whilst many of us are aware that we should be avoiding the use of skincare that contains parabens, there are many other harsh chemical preservatives that can be found in most mainstream products that are worth eliminating from your beauty regime too. Here’s a list of the not-so-natural preservatives that we always avoid:

- Propylparaben, methyparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben
- Bronopol (2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-DIOL)
- DMDM Hydantoin
- BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
- Triclosan
- Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)
- Imidazolidinyl Urea
- Diazolidinyl Urea
- Quaternium-15

For more information on our favourite super skin-food ingredients and natural beauty tips and tricks, sign up for the Aevi newsletter.

BeautyNatalie ViklundComment