Preservatives- a horror story?

What springs to mind when you hear the word “preservative”? Probably a scary sounding chemical with a long name. It just makes most people think: “eww, keep that nasty stuff…



What springs to mind when you hear the word “preservative”?

Probably a scary sounding chemical with a long name.

It just makes most people think:

“eww, keep that nasty stuff away from me”.

But at the end of this post, I will show you this is not entirely well founded.

Firstly, why do we put preservatives in products? For example in make-up and creams.

There are 2 reasons

 

  • To stop the product breaking down and becoming useless
  • To stop bugs growing in the product

It’ that simple.

preservative free
“preservative free” is a claim often see on many cosmetics

Product break down is a waste of our money.  So we would like to prevent that.

But sometimes when the product breaks down, it can actually produce dangerous by-products;

And we definitely want to avoid that.

However, preventing bugs growing is by far the most crucial role for preservatives.

For the simple reason that microbes are a threat to human health.

So when a manufacturer adds preservatives they need to prove that this preservatives keeps microbial growth to an acceptable limit;

Up until the expiry date of the product.

This is why you should NEVER use a product after the expiry date.  Because the manufacturer does not guarantee the product has a safe level of bugs anymore.

Having said that, there are some nasty preservatives that you SHOULD avoid.

 

Till next time

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