Why do you allow chemical preservatives in organic beauty products?

Organic beauty products that contain oils and oil-based ingredients such as balms and body butters can be made using 100% organic ingredients and do not require the addition of preservatives. Sometimes they may use a mild antioxidant such as tocopherol or ascorbic acid which are permitted under organic food standards (both the EU regulation and Soil Association standards) and naturally derived. However, products that contain water, and water and oil based ingredients such as creams, lotions and shampoos need to have some kind of preservative system so that they are safe to use. In addition they may need an emulsifier which mixes together the oil and water ingredients and stops them separating.

Sometimes organic preservatives can be used such as organic grapefruit seed extract, or naturally derived anti-oxidants as above, but if these are not effective then a preservative that meets strict toxicological and biodegradibility requirements can be used. The toxicity and biodegradibility criteria ensure that the ingredient is not harmful to health and has minimum environmental impact. In addition emulsifiers must meet the same requirements, and are often naturally derived. For example decyl glucoside which can be made from corn starch, but is not yet available in an organic format.

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