Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Preservatives in Your Cosmetics: Necessary or Not

Okay. Just a couple days ago I was approached (rather rudely I might add) by a couple sellers on Etsy that brought to my attention something about my lotions. They pointed out that I had no preservatives in my lotion. Lo and behold they were right there was not a single preservative in my lotion. I began to research as is my habit when some new light is shed on something I thought I had a handle on. Anywho, I stumbled upon many opinions. This is a hotly debated issue in the homecrafters world. On the one side you have those who feel that an alternative can be found to avoid those "parabens". Parabens is a generic name for a class of chemical preservatives that are found in just about any cosmetic formulation that has water in it. The whole said purpose for this addition of preservatives is that the water will eventually breed harmful bacteria, mold, and yeasts in a cosmetic product such as creams and lotions. I have a slight problem with that line of logic.

The first problem I have with that is that water on its own does not breed harmful microorganisms. Think about it. How long does that bottled water sit on the shelves and the warehouses across this nation undisturbed? Once you open it, is it spoiled? As a consumer are you worried that harmful microorganisms are lurking in that water? Probably not. This is untreated water, "purified" water, spring water, nursery water, distilled water, carbonated water, etc etc. Even your regular old tap water can sit in a bottle pretty much indefinitely without issue.

Furthermore, think of this aspect. You have a bottle of unopened water and a pool of stagnant water outside. Both waters are stagnant as opposed to free-flowing. Why is the stagnant pool of water unsafe to drink and the stagnant bottle water safe? The big difference between them is that the stagnant pool of water outside is OUTSIDE. It is in constant contact with the air. Many things including microorganisms are airborne. Any insect can come in contact with the water, or any microbe can thrive there. This is not so for bottled water. Bottled water, treated or not, is bottled in a facility and basically kept away as much as possible from exposure to air. So, my simple logical conclusion is that the air, not necessarily the water is the culprit for making water unsafe for human consumption and use.

Lotion for instance is created out of this bottled water that has a very long shelf life. It is also created out of various oils and butters each with substantial shelf lives of their own. Lastly, it is made of the emulsifiers, or the chemicals that allow the water to bond with the oils in order to create lotion in the first place. So since all of these things can stand alone without spoilage or becoming dangerous for a long time, why is it that when I put these things together they need all this extra chemical protection? To me it's not logical.........

It's late so I'll pick this up and finish my thoughts tomorrow...... Peace ya'll

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