Preservatives: The Good, The Bad and The Necessary

November 03, 2019

Preservatives: The Good, The Bad and The Necessary

I am frequently asked if Mia’s aromatherapy personal care products are “preservative free”. My answer to that question is, no. Realizing that the word “preservative” conjures up mixed emotions today in consumers, it is important to delve further into the purpose of preservatives.  There is a good side to preservatives and a bad consequence for not having them.

Many personal care products have water as one of the ingredients. Any time water is part of a formulation there is potential for the growth of harmful bacteria, mold, fungus and yeast. In addition, there are additional ways to introduce contamination to any personal care product. This includes: germs transferred to the product when using fingers, utensils or applicators and even mold spores in the air. It is not only gross, but can be harmful to your health. The problem is that unlike milk that goes bad, spoiled personal care products may smell fine and look normal.

It is important to note that all cosmetics and personal care products that are void of a preservative will go bad. Those with water as an ingredient will go bad even more quickly.

A few years ago, a large company who sold natural products found that their body wash was growing such organisms – making users of the product sick. This company (to remain nameless) sold to many hotel/motel chains. It was through customer’s complaints and USDA inspection that the issue was found. This is not just a one-time circumstance, there are countless reports of contact dermatitis and rashes from using unpreserved lotions.

Lesson: This issue is more common than you might think and not exclusive to the local maker, large companies have to beware as well! 

There are many types of preservatives, some of which have created all the bad press (the “bad” list). The preservatives in Mia’s Botanicals naturally derived personal care products are not on the “bad” list of preservatives. Different preservative systems exist to meet different needs and are as follows:

  • Organic Alcohol: A nontoxic and natural preservative that is food grade and certified organic grain alcohol, a natural essential oils and pure plant extracts.
  • Phenoxyethanol and Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate: For products that use this preservation system, Phenoxyethanol is combined with Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate as an alternative to formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (the “bad”). Phenoxyethanol is, among other positive things, paraben free; non-irritating to eyes and skin as used here; and very stable. Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate is a preservative booster produced from vegetable matter and is not toxic to genetic material or cells; easily biodegradable and easily consumed by microorganisms.

If you choose not to use a preservative – the product must be kept in a refrigerator, unless the product does not contain water, and used the right way.

In this day and age of people wanting all-natural preservation systems, but not wanting parabens, seeking products that are “preservative free”, the information above is some food for thought.

This information is for educational purposes only.

Photo courtesy of Pexels




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in The More You Know

Part 4: The Cycle of Domestic Violence (Opinion Piece)
Part 4: The Cycle of Domestic Violence (Opinion Piece)

July 21, 2020

Children of families where domestic violence has occurred, are the next potential victims in a never-ending cycle of abuse that can be passed down from generation to generation.  Learn why by reading our "the more you know" blog.

Continue Reading

Part 3: Blinded by the Abuse (Opinion Piece)
Part 3: Blinded by the Abuse (Opinion Piece)

July 14, 2020

Continuing our learning about domestic violence focuses on the children of the abused. There are some states in the United States that charge mothers with a crime if they did not protect their children from abuse of a partner, friend or neighbor.
Read more by visiting our "the more you know" blog

Continue Reading

Part 2: Covid-19 Pandemic and Domestic Violence (Opinion Piece)
Part 2: Covid-19 Pandemic and Domestic Violence (Opinion Piece)

July 07, 2020

Domestic violence affects many friends and families (whether extended family members or members of the nuclear family unit). 

With the social distancing, self-isolation and stay at home orders in place due to Covid-19, the number of reported instances of domestic violence are down.

Read our blog to learn why this is NOT a good thing!

Continue Reading