With the rise of natural and organic skincare brands emerging every year , many brands make certain claims like Paraben free , Sls free , sulphate free , Silicone free , Preservative free. Today , we will be focusing on the term "Preservative free".
Preservative is basically a substance that is used to preserve any formula from decay. The expiry date of a certain formula mentions the amount of time that particular formula can remain preserved or stable lying on your shelf.
Some preservative free brands make it there mission to stay completely away from preservatives. The only way to stick to their goal in that case is to make products that are either completely anhydrous (oil and butter based) wherein the formula contains 0% of water phase, and powder based products made with clays and different herbs that have not been activated with water are also known to be free from any preservative system.
There is also a term named "self preservating formula" which has a particular ingredient that has self preservating properties making the entire formula safe to use for a particular period of time , usually anywhere around 3-8 months. This particular formula might be stable due to fermentation , in an alkaline ph , etc creating a condition of self preservation.
Now , why do the rest of the products in the market need a preservative if it claims to be so harmful ? Majority of the products we use on an everyday basis contains a water phase. When water is introduced to any formula , it makes it highly compatible for microbial breeding which is even more harmful to use than a product with a preservative.
With growing awareness and use of technology , there are many more safe and nature derived and nature identical preservatives available in the market currently , which are safe to use , have no side effects or harmful effects and make your formula stable to use for a considerable period of time. We use ecocert approved preservatives that are nature derived that make our products safe for even sensitive skin types.
Now let us come back to the term "preservative free" and to some brands who claim to be preservative free to give their brand a better tag line but their products do not fit under any of the above categories. Apart from that , they do not mention the complete ingredient list and still claim that the shelf life of their products is more than 18 months and sometimes even 36 months.
Would you trust a brand like that who claims to be preservative free and yet only mentions 20% of their ingredient list ? Transparency gives power and confidence and a consumer should have full right to knowledge of what exactly is going on a product that they are directly applying every single day.
As a consumer , we have a right to a complete know-how and it should first start with an honest ingredient list and honest claims because that is what makes the first impression of any brand. Claims like "preservative free" should be backed up by these brands by some sort of proof , and hiding preservatives in your ingredient list will not make you preservative free.
PS - Always read your labels before buying anything and definitely give it a second read if you happen to stumble upon a brand that claims to be "Preservative free".