Okay I promised to continue this today.
The other side of the hotly debated issue is the one that says you must have a preservative that kills the microorganisms no matter what. These people are likely to also say that there is no such thing as an all natural preservative system, which isn't true and I'll get to that later. The FDA backs this up (surprise surprise).
For large companies I can see the logic of using a complex chemical preservative system. It would be stupid of them not to. From the time of manufacture to the time someone buys and uses a product can be a very long time indeed. A company makes cosmetics in large quantity. Then they must store it in warehouses until such time as they can deliver these products to whatever stores carry them. This can even be worldwide. Then they can sit in the backrooms and shelves of these stores for a long time. So these large companies must be sure that by the time it reaches the consumer, the product is as fresh as the day it was made.
I can totally understand this. Even though I feel a product can last without any preservative, it can't last that long.
As for natural preservative systems, there is a very famous company that uses a simple system consisting of sugar. Glucose, glucose oxidase, and lacto-oxidase , is a sugar combined with sugar from honey and milk to create an oxidase system. Upon reading I found out that they work by consuming any oxygen that the lotion or other product may come into contact with. I was surprised to find it. It lent a small amount of credibility to my own conclusion that it was over-exposure to air that caused the main problems with the growth of yeasts, molds, and other nasties.
I must say before I end this that I have much respect for both lines of logic. For the home bath and body product maker, they only want to ensure that they are being safe and offering a good product. I can't argue with that. On the other hand, I believe that being very small manufacturers we don't need the extraordinarily long shelf life. When people buy cosmetics, they are usually purchased with the intent to use them right away. Things like soaps and other toiletries are bought on a need basis. People buy more soap when they need more soap, and rarely buy so much that it can't be used within a short period of time.