Skin care without preservative, good or bad?

People are getting more and more concern about the ingredient used in skin care nowadays. We try to avoid chemicals and go for natural one, if can. We will talk about preservative specifically first here in this post.


What is preservative?

Preservative is the ingredient that use to prevent growth of microbes in the product. Usually an unopen skin care product with preservative in it can last for 3 years while opened product can last around 6 months depends on usage. Which means, within this time frame, you can use your product with peace in mind, without worry that this product will affect your skin and cause acne or even skin infection.


Do we really need preservative in our skin care products?

We all know that microbes are everywhere. Now imagine that your skin care product does not contain any preservative. How do you make sure that the product is free from microbes and the harmful microbes (if have) are not transferred to your skin? It does create a lot of hassles to us actually. Listed below are some of the inconvenience that we could foresee and expect:

  • You might need to pay for expensive shipping fee because the product need to be shipped to you in temperature controlled condition.
  • You need to store your products in refrigerator once you get it. When you need to use it, finish your skin care step/procedure fast, and return the product to refrigerator as soon as possible.
  • You need to make sure your finger (that is going to touch the product) is as clean as possible. The microbes present on your finger will be transferred to the product and spoil the product sooner.
  • Your body heat (finger) will affect the product stability too.
  • You need to finish your products within days or a week longest. If your sales advise longer expiry period, then you can seriously think whether the product is really free from preservative or not.
  • You need to ensure the product is stay out of light and heat.

Please remember that low temperature (in refrigerator) only slow down the growth of microbes, not stopping/killing it.

If these hassles are acceptable to you, then you can still go for natural skin care without preservative. If not, then we shall see what option do we have on preservative.


Paraben is the only preservative you know?

Paraben is the most famous preservative in skin care industry. However, “No Paraben” has became safe sign for a product ever since it is deemed xenoestrogen (mimic estrogen) and linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. Even though the usage of paraben is still under debate until now because there is no scientific evidence that link paraben to any cancer yet. But there is nothing wrong to be mindful. Go for paraben-free skin care product to gain the peace of mind, if you really concern about this. 


Types of preservative

There are 2 types of preservatives: natural preservative and synthetic preservative. 


Natural preservative

Natural preservative like essential oil, neem oil, bee propolis and etc. is always considered as a safer choice. However, as it is a lot milder compared to the synthetic one, we would need to use a very high amount of natural preservative to serve its purpose right. With this high amount/percentage, it may become a hazard itself in the skin care by causing allergy.


Synthetic preservative

On the other hand, synthetic preservative is chemical that synthesized specifically to inhibit the growth of microbes. Which means, we only need a very small amount of it in skin care product to serve it purpose. If we use it according to the approved/regulated amount, it is still very safe and would not cause any allergy or negative effects to our health.

What is HERBEA AQUA using?

HERBEA AQUA is using phenoxyethanol which is a mild preservative that is safe to use. Below is the information about phenoxyethanol from Paula’s Choice.

Common cosmetics preservative that’s considered one of the least sensitizing for use in formulations. It does not release formaldehyde. Phenoxyethanol is approved worldwide (including in Japan and in the EU) for use in all types of water-based cosmetics, up to a 1% concentration.

The safety of phenoxyethanol has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel several times. This group evaluated the foundational scientific data plus the newer relevant data, and concluded that phenoxyethanol is safe as a cosmetic ingredient. Interestingly, although the phenoxyethanol used in skincare products is almost always synthetic, this chemical occurs naturally in green tea.

In short, phenoxyethanol is considered a safe and effective preservative when used in amounts approved for use in leave-on or rinse-off cosmetics products.


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One thought on “Skin care without preservative, good or bad?

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