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A Bit About Preservatives –

Posted by Sharyl Carlson on

 My products are artisan made.  That means me, I am the artisan. Rather than having robots manufacture my formulas in big white labs, I like the fact that I can use the wonderful botanicals the earth has to offer, grow and change formulas, and hand craft these beautiful products. 

For that reason, I use the best, most reliable preservatives on the market.  I honestly don’t love reading some of them in my ingredients list either!  But what I do love is the fact that I can create skin and hair loving products, with all my favorite ingredients, knowing that they are safe and stable. Have you ever left fresh poultry spices in your fridge for too long after Thanksgiving?  Not pretty. If you put your shampoo bar in a tin and leave it in your gym bag for a couple days, no worries.  I got you. Put your wet hand into your brand-new tin of body butter? Its all good.  I don’t want propylene glycol in my food, but if it keeps the nasties out of my shampoo bars, I can live with about .6% of it in a rinse off product.

Molds, Bacteria and Yeasts are a real concern in bath and body products.  Many of the natural preservatives I have found on the market have deficiencies in one area or another or wreak havoc with pH. 

Currently, I am using Optiphen, Optiphen Plus, and Liquid Germall Plus, at levels of .5-1% depending on the product and other ingredients. Still, I am regularly sampling and testing new broad-spectrum preservatives that are coming on the market. 

For now, I use these preservatives at .5-1% of my products.  I feel safe.  I hope you do to.


Optiphen is a paraben and formaldehyde-free preservative system, which consists of Phenoxyethanol in an emollient base of Caprylyl Glycol. The combination of these ingredients provides optimized protection against microbial growth while imparting exceptional feel to the finished product.

INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol

Optiphen Plus performs best in formulations below 6.0 pH but is also proven effective at pH levels above 6.0.

INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Sorbic Acid


Liquid Germal Plus (used in our shampoo bars): Can be used in surfactant-based systems such as shampoos and body/shower gels, conditioners and other high water content products. Ideal for water-in-oil and oil-in-water emulsions, creams and lotions, make-up and other highly pigmented products.

Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate is a multi-purpose, clear, liquid chelating agent and preservative booster.  Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate is made from plant material, readily biodegradable, with high solubility over a wide pH range.  Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate serves the same function in formulations as EDTA, without the health and environmental concerns. ​

INCI: Propylene Glycol (and) Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

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