Beauty in a Bottle: The Best Natural Preservatives for Cosmetics

different kinds of cosmetics

Have you ever wondered what manufacturers are putting into the makeup you apply every morning or the soap you slather on your body at night? Are you worried about the effects your cosmetics have on your body as well as the environment? Then you maybe looking for companies that use natural preservatives for cosmetics.

If you’re looking to start a business, sustainable beauty and organic cosmetics are becoming increasingly popular. These products help you protect your skin and keep you looking lush without exposing you to dangerous chemicals or negatively affecting the environment.

Here’s what you need to know about the best natural preservatives for cosmetics and why you should consider using them in your products.

What are Sustainable Cosmetics?

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Sustainable cosmetics or green beauty cosmetics are makeup and personal care products that fit one or all the following criteria:

  • Vegan. These products are made without harming animals or using products derived from animals. This means they use plant-based alternatives, not tested on animals and can have less environmental impact.
  • Organic. This criterion means the manufacturer uses natural chemicals in their products and try to reduce the amount of chemicals they use in their production process.
  • Ethical. Ethical products consider the affect of the production of their cosmetics not just on the environment but also on animals and the local populace. This implies the company doesn’t test its products on animals and employ fair trade policies.
  • Non-toxic. Sustainable cosmetics eschew toxic chemicals of any significant concentration in their products. This reduces their product’s effects on people and on the environment.

Sustainable cosmetics don’t just use natural preservatives in their products, they also consider the effects of their entire production process. But understanding the benefits of natural preservatives is essential in establishing an organic cosmetics shop or finding the right brand for you.

How Can You Make Long-Lasting Sustainable Cosmetics?

mixing herbs and spices

Whether you’re making sustainable skin care products as business or switching your beauty regimen, you need to know the best natural preservatives for cosmetics. These natural cosmetic ingredients protect the product from deterioration due to environmental exposure or bacterial decay.

Some of the best preservatives for sustainable cosmetics include the following substances.

  1. Aloe Vera Gel

In 2005, a Spanish research team created a gel from aloe vera plants that could act as a safe and environmentally friendly natural preservative for cosmetics. Aloe gel has natural acts as a natural protective coating for beauty products. It shields substances from moisture and oxygen, both of which can speed up decay in natural chemicals. Aloe gel is a versatile substance and can be incorporated in a wide range of sustainable cosmetics. You can infuse it in skin lotion, mix it in moisturizer and even use it in hair care products.

  1. Phenoxyethanol

Phenoxyethanol is can be found naturally in green tea plants. However, these natural concentrations are too low for commercial production. Most sustainable beauty companies use lab-created but nature compatible counterparts. Phenoxyethanol is a used to preserve cosmetics, thanks to its ability to inhibit bacterial growth. Manufacturers who want to avoid using the more controversial and artificial paraben preservatives in their products use this chemical instead.

  1. Sorbic Acid

Sorbic acid is one of the most common natural preservatives. It’s used in both food and cosmetics production because the chemical is very effective in preventing mold growth as well as inhibiting the growth of airborne bacteria on products. Sorbic acid was first extracted in significant concentrations from unripe rowan tree berries, making it an excellent choice as a natural preservative for cosmetics. Sorbic acid is also considered a kosher ingredient.

  1. Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a natural preservative derived from combining salt with sorbic acid. It can be found in certain fruits, but labs often create nature identical versions for use in green beauty products and other sustainable cosmetics. This substance is another ubiquitous natural preservative for cosmetics, and it can be found in a variety of makeup and skin care items. Its used to reduce mold growth in lotions, shampoos, mascaras and hair care products.

What are the Benefits of Natural Cosmetic Ingredients?

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Why should you make the choice to switch to use natural preservatives for cosmetics? What benefits can you look forward to when you make the decision to support sustainable beauty practices?

The advantages of natural cosmetic ingredients include the following:

  • Better for Sensitive Skin

Majority of the population have some degree of skin sensitivity. According to research, at least 60 percent of women and 50 percent of men have sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin or hope to sell products to people with the condition, natural cosmetic ingredients provide the perfect solution. People who use your organic cosmetics line won’t have to worry about getting a rash of suffering from skin irritation id you use natural preservatives for cosmetics. Sustainable cosmetics can also be less abrasive and damaging to your skin in the long term, letting you remain naturally beautiful.

  • Less Harmful Substances

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only ban 11 substances from use in cosmetics manufacture and production. Although beauty product manufacturers in the United States self-regulate, there’s still a lot of harmful substances in their cosmetics. Formaldehyde is sometimes incorporated in cosmetics as a preservatives although it has known carcinogenic properties. Other harmful preservatives include parabens and sulfates, both of which are found in a terrifyingly large array of products from shampoos to moisturizes and toothpastes to shaving cream.

Green beauty products that use natural preservatives for cosmetics have significantly decreased risk of containing harmful substances like carcinogens. Sustainable beauty isn’t only healthy for you, it can also be great for the environment thanks to the lower concentrations of chemicals.

  • Fewer Allergic Reactions

Unlike sustainable cosmetics, other mass-produced beauty products are full of chemicals that may cause allergic reactions in people. These allergic reactions may range from skin irritation to full-blown anaphylactic shock. Common causes of allergic reaction from beauty products include fragrances, dyes and preservatives. Unlike natural preservatives for cosmetics, the last of these can be made of complex chemicals that can trigger allergic reaction. Non-natural preservatives include formaldehyde-releasing agents such as bronopol and imidazolidinyl urea. Green beauty products contain far fewer complex artificial chemicals and can be less likely to cause an irritating or dangerous allergic reaction in you or your customers.

What are the Impacts of the Cosmetic Industry?

crumpled plastic container

Aside from its effects on people, mass produced cosmetics have a huge impact on the environment. People don’t usually connect environmental impact with the cosmetic industry, but mass-producing beauty products has some wide-ranging effects. Aside from the chemicals routinely used in creating commercial beauty products, the cosmetics industry creates an astounding amount of plastic and other waste.

Here are some of the most serious impacts the industry has on the environment.

  • Plastic Waste

Personal care products come in a lot of containers, most of them made of non-biodegradable plastic. All of those tiny cream jars, shampoo bottles and makeup kits are packaged in plastic. This plastic ends up in the trash more often than not, with nearly 70 percent of plastic waste ending up in the nation’s landfills.

When not collected properly, this plastic waste can be washed away into waterways and the ocean, where they become environmental hazards to marine life. At worst, they degrade to microplastics and pollute almost every level of the food chain. Sustainable cosmetics often also use biodegradable containers to prevent this type of pollution.

  • Chemical Runoff

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are washing their faces, taking baths or sluicing off makeup every hour around your neighborhood. The wastewater from your city’s drains can end up in the ocean. The chemical components of non-natural beauty products can become serious chemical runoff. These chemicals can become toxic to plant and animal life, effecting the entire ecosystem.

In particular, several chemical additives pose a more serious threat than others. These include ultraviolet filters in sunscreen and skin lotion, microplastic beads in facial wash and soaps as well as cosmetic preservatives like parabens and triclosan. Sustainable cosmetics have natural ingredients that have reduced chemical impacts on the environment.

  • Carcinogenic Components

The European Union has banned or restricted over 1,300 chemicals from cosmetics productions because they can have extreme medical side effects such as mutagenic or teratogenic properties. In comparison, the United States Food and Drug Administration has only restricted 11 chemical components from beauty products.

A lot of chemicals in restricted lists have carcinogenic properties. Some of these cancer-inducing chemicals include formaldehyde, widely used in embalming but sometimes employed as a preservative in beauty products like eye shadow, shampoo and nail polish. Although banned by European and Japanese cosmetic manufacturers, the U.S. Federal government has yet to include a blanket ban on the substance. Sustainable beauty products don’t use formaldehyde and instead rely on natural preservatives for cosmetics.

Sustainable cosmetics have plenty of benefits for individuals and the planet. Switching to natural preservatives for cosmetics doesn’t just keep you looking good, it keeps the planet in great shape as well.

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