Green Beauty Ingredients: The Skinny On Preservatives

The hot word in the green beauty space right now is “preservatives.” Everyone is talking about it; but what’s not being said is how vital natural preservatives are in products applied to the hair and skin. It’s important to understand the facts and navigate the miscommunication and confusion; my intention here is only to share my point view. ~ Greg


Did you know Innersense is a Made Safe Ingredient Supporter?

Did you know Innersense is a Made Safe Ingredient Supporter?

Preservatives are important to maintain shelf life, but the bigger purpose is to protect products against, bacteria, mold, yeast and other contaminations that cannot be seen or smelled. The reality is products that contain any level of water as part of their formula require preservatives to protect them, and you.

Joanne and I spend an abundant amount of time working with our formulating team to deliver clean, pure, organic products. We also work tirelessly to ensure the natural preservative systems that we work with are effective and safe. The preservatives we use meet NSF 305 assessments for safety, and meet the safety standard established by the FDA and required by the ever-strict EU certification process.

This is not to say that we aren’t continually seeking new alternatives. Green beauty chemistry is rapidly evolving, and along with it, so are new alternative natural preservative systems. We are at the forefront of this exploration and work in tandem with our supply chain partners. These new systems require months of micro and challenge testing to ensure they meet safety assessments and formula compatibility.

In our vow of transparency, Innersense Organic Beauty fully lists the naturally-derived preservatives we use with each of our products (You’ll find them in a separate tab with each product in our e-store). Words like Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol and Sorbic Acid do not sound pretty, but they serve a critical function. Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate and Citric Acid are common in green beauty products; used at low levels, the combination of these ingredients provide the full spectrum protection needed to ensure a product does not become contaminated. There is no data to suggest these ingredients pose any health risks.

It’s worth noting that when an ingredient gets a bad rap, some green beauty brands will respond by simply changing to preservatives with names that are not recognized by the consumer, rather then spending the time to educate the how’s and whys. Unfortunately, consumers assume safety without the knowledge to back it up or questioning whether the ingredient has passed through rigorous safety standards.

As I said before, misunderstanding is fueling mis-information. Ingredient decks can be confusing, even when green beauty brands like ours are utilizing natural ingredients and derivatives and cutting-edge green chemistry. My advice: Read the label. If you do have a concern or question, call the brand. If the brand is truly transparent, they’ll take your call and answer your questions. Joanne and I do it all the time. You can also email us, too.

PS: Arm yourself with knowledge: The Think Dirty app alerts consumers to potentially harmful chemicals in cosmetics. Download it today to shop clean tomorrow! ~ Greg Starkman, founder, Innersense Organic Beauty


  • KT says:

    I hope you’re not implying it’s safe to mix those preservatives. Sodium benzoate and citric acid create benzene which is carcinogenic.

    • Innersense Organic Beauty says:

      Hi there!
      In our research and testing, the levels of which we use sodium benzoate & citric acid in our formulas are too low to cause a reaction and cause the formation of benzene. Please let us know if you have further questions!

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