Many of us are aware that commercial beauty products use parabens in order to increase shelf life and keep the product suspended or emulsified for years… But what about natural and perishable plant-based organic products? How can they stay safe and ‘uncontaminated’ without the use of any synthetic chemicals/ toxic preservatives in the formula? One of the solutions is naturally-derived ‘Potassium Sorbate’.
The Need for Preservatives
Without preservatives, beauty products are like food and can spoil. Using preservatives in beauty products is indispensable as it helps in preventing damage caused by growth of harmful bacteria, fungi and molds as well as in slowing down undesirable degradation of the formula. When a product gets contaminated, it can be very harmful for the skin and cause problems such as rashes and redness, irritation, as well acne breakouts and a loss of effectiveness.
Even if it’s in the form of antioxidants (as products often deteriorate due to exposure to oxygen), every commercial beauty product, whether composed of naturally-derived ingredients or synthetically created incorporates preservatives in the formula. So, if you read the term ‘preservative free’ on labels – this is simply a false claim.
What’s Wrong with Parabens and Other Chemical Preservatives?
All beauty products contain preservatives in some or the other form. Some of the commonly used chemical preservatives are – paraben, methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propylparaben, formaldehyde, benzoic acid, derivatives of urea and others.
Studies demonstrate that such chemical preservatives can cause major health concerns such as endocrine disruption, reproductive issues, developmental toxicity and even cancer.
Why Switch to Potassium Sorbate
Potassium Sorbate is one of the best known mild and natural alternative to parabens. Unlike other chemical preservatives, Potassium Sorbate is not known to cause any kind of toxicity and is safe to be used on skin. Potassium Sorbate is marked as a ‘Safe’ ingredient from EWG, having a minimal risk of 2 out of 10 (Some people may be allergic to Potassium Sorbate for which we recommend doing a patch-test for first time usage).
Both the Green Chemicals Handbook and the Whole Foods Premium Body Care Manual approve of this ingredient. It is worth interesting to note that even the synthetic version is GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) is approved by all governments across the world. It is considered as one of the safest food preservatives to be used in a variety of food products such as wine, cheese, baked goods, etc. Potassium Sorbate is FDA and CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) Approved, Ecocert Compliant and is Eco-friendly as well.
How’s Potassium Sorbate Naturally Obtained
The Berries of the Mountain Ash Tree (Sorbus aucuparia) contain high amount of sorbic acid. In the most traditional way, this sorbic acid is neutralized and processed scientifically with potassium hydroxide to form a white colored natural salt called Potassium Sorbate.
Where is Potassium Sorbate Used in?
Potassium Sorbate is used as a Natural Preservative in various Natural and Organic Skin Care products such as Sunscreens, Hydrators, Exfoliators, Serums and Body Butters. It is also used in Hair Care Products such as paraben-free and SLS-free Shampoos, Conditioners and Styling Gels. It is sometimes used as a fragrant ingredient.
How We Do It @Puraveda Organics
Today, most companies synthesize Potassium Sorbate chemically, yet market them as ‘natural’. But, at Puraveda Organics, we still follow the traditional and natural way of obtaining Potassium Sorbate from Mountain Ash Berries.
This mild natural preservative is used in our organic products to increase their shelf-life so that your skin is effectively nourished with high quality ingredients till the last drop. We also mix Potassium Sorbate with other natural preservatives such as Neem, Rosemary, Peppermint, Grape seed oil, Vitamin E, Antioxidants, etc…. in an effective ratio to further increase the efficiency of the product. The unique combination of these ingredients not only help in ‘broad-spectrum preservation’ of our products, but also provide other benefits of being antimicrobial, antifungal and antioxidant-enriched with extensive nourishment properties.