One day while washing my face with Dove Soap (that also contained ¼ cup
of cleansing cream) I realized how dry my skin felt. It was almost
instant. Standing there looking in the mirror I could see my skin drying
out and becoming parched. I NEEDED the moisturizer to bring my skin back
into some type of balance. I re-read the ingredients on the package and
decided there had to be a better method. I could not understand most of
the ingredients contained in the soap. I decided that I could do better.
Making the decision for whatever reason to go natural
is an easy decision. Living with the decision in your everyday life
becomes more difficult as you try to practice it. Finding completely
natural skin care products on the commercial market is next to
impossible. Most “Natural” products contain some type of chemical and/or
synthetic that upon further study can cause harm to your body in some
way. I believe that you can have 100% natural products that are
preserved with natural ingredients.
The main reason it is difficult to find is because 99%
of the companies on the market add some type of synthetic preservative
to their products to maintain their shelf life for about two to three
years. Without some type of preservative in the product, microorganisms
would multiply freely causing side effects such as skin rashes,
blindness, and a multitude of other ailments. The downside of that is
that with synthetic preservatives you also take the risk of deliberately
adding toxins to your body. These toxins have caused reactions such as
allergic skin reactions and dermatitis just to name a few.
Most of the synthetic preservatives used today are
carcinogenic and are thought to cause possible reactions. Some of this
has been proven by the scientific community and much is still in debate. There are ways to preserve a product without having to add synthetics. There are essential oils, vitamin E, Honey, Lemon, Sugar and Salt to
name a few.
If you have been following the natural trend you know
that there are 2 camps: those that believe that there can be an
alternative to synthetic preservatives that won’t kill you or cause
major side effects and the 2nd camp that believes that no matter what
you must have a chemical preservative of some type regardless of the
side effects. I ask the question of handcrafters: what makes you any
different from the large companies out there offering “natural”
With ingredients such as essential oils and
antioxidants that act as preservatives natural Skin care products can be
produced with a limited shelf life. If you choose not to use any
preservatives the products must be refrigerated immediately after
opening. They will also have to be manufactured in a sterilized
environment using something similar to a flow hood that is used in
hospital and laboratory environments. The process to produce this is
time consuming and costly. For large companies that make items in large
batches this is not economically feasible. They are looking for a batch
of products (which could be well over 10,000 bottles) to have a shelf
life of 2-3 years. There are companies that now produce natural products
in small batches using natural preservatives and that number is growing.
This trend is growing because the educated consumer is now demanding
natural products for face and body care.
 Essential oils are natural substances that are powerful
preservatives, but are not extensively used to preserve cosmetic
products. They are derived from flowers, leaves, grasses, and woody
plants. The first indications of their antiseptic properties were
uncovered during the cholera epidemics of the nineteenth century in
France when tens of thousands of men, women, and children perished.
During this time it was observed that workers in perfume factories were
almost completely immune to this disease. Today we know that most
essential oils and absolutes used in perfumes are powerful antiseptics
that kill most of the harmful bacteria and fungi without harming the
human system. The addition of as little as one drop of sweet orange oil
to two ounces of cream will kill all bacteria and fungi in the
preparation. Essential oils have also been shown to be effective in
killing the virus that causes Herpes and assist in healing the affected
Effectiveness of Essential Oils in killing Bacteria
Recent studies performed in France determined the potency of essential
oils as antiseptics. Increasing amounts of different essential oils were
added to meat stock cultured in raw sewage to determine the quantity
needed to kill all microorganisms. The table above lists the amount of
essential oil in percent that must be added to raw sewage to kill all
microbes. As can be seen from the table, one part of origanum oil
renders 1,000 parts of raw sewage free of all living organisms.
Sometimes essential oils which are used as
preservatives can evaporate from the preparation when left uncovered. Some essential oils, if they are concentrated, also can cause reddening
of the skin and dermatitis. Products with a larger content of essential
oils, as found in aromatherapeutic preparations (foam baths, soaps, bath
oils, and massage oils), do not need the addition of harmful synthetic
preservatives because of the antiseptic properties of essential oils.
Neem Oil -
Neem is one of the most powerful
oils on the market today. It has been used in India since the time of
Sanskrit. Today it is recognized as an all around oil. It is
anti-fungal, anti-bacterial as well as anti-protozoan and a spermicide.
Vitamin E (d-alpha
Tocopherol) - Vitamin E is a
powerful antioxidant used in preserving oils and keeping them from going
rancid. Beware that there is a synthetic on the market called Tocopherol,
Alpha Tocopherol and/or Tocopherol Acetate.
- Most people have heard of Smithfield
Hams. These hams can last forever. They are salt cured. Salt has been
used, since ancient times, especially for meat, as a preservation
technique for preserving foods. The salt enters the tissue and in effect
binds the water, inhibiting the bacterium that causes spoilage. The salt
restricts to tiny concentration and protects food from yeasts and molds. It draws out moisture and creates an environment inhospitable to
bacteria. Salt has anion from hydrochloric acid. It is also known as
- Sugar is an organic compound called carbohydrates. Sugar comes in 2
forms; refined and raw. The white sugar is refined and the raw sugar is
brown and has a variety of names. It is used as a natural preservative. Sugar inhibits the bacterial growth after the food or products have been
- Lemon is part of the Rutaceae family also known as a citrus fruit.
Lemons are grown in the mild climatic regions. The lemon is 30 to 45
percent juice depending on the type and climate. The acid that the lemon
has is mostly from the citrus. The lemon is also used as a preservative,
because of the acid C6H8O7. It is strong like salt and it takes the
moisture out of the food to prevent spoilage and rotting. The lemon
contains a lot of vitamin C.
- Honey can also be considered. It is highly stable against microbial
growth because of it’s low moisture content and water activity, low pH
and anti-microbial constituents.
Bee Propolis -
is a mixture of various
amounts of beeswax and resins collected by the honeybee from plants,
particularly from flowers and leaf buds. It is used to line and seal the
comb. The propolis is effective in protecting the hive because it offers
antibacterial and antifungal properties.
A multitude of traditional uses are known
for this versatile substance. The Greeks and Romans already knew that propolis would heal skin abscesses and through the centuries it's use in
medicine has received varying attention. The ancient Egyptians knew
about the benefits of propolis and in Africa it is still used today, as
a medicine, an adhesive for tuning drums, sealing cracked water
containers or canoes and dozens of other uses
- is a powerful antioxidant. It also helps to minimize the oxidation and
of some vitamins and amino acids.
Aging processes, such as browning,
thickening and wrinkling; and melanoma and other skin cancers are
thought to be accelerated by the accumulation of peroxides in the skin
tissues. Skin damaging peroxides are produced by environmental factors
such as heat and ultra-violet radiation from sunlight, which is
considered to be a primary cause of sunburn and melanoma. In a study
conducted to test photoprotectivity, it was discovered that Carnosic
acid did protect the skin from UV damage.  Carnosic acid is found in
Rosemary. This evidence is further corroborated in expired US patents
5,358,752, which show in the examples, complete elimination of peroxides
as a result of UVB radiation. Rosemary also has a history of
anti-bacterial and anti-microbial applications. One study found it to be
effective against HIV-1
Grapefruit Seed Extract
- is a Natural Antibiotic, Antiseptic, Disinfectant and Preservative. It
is used to promote the healing of almost any atypical skin condition. Grapefruit Seed Extract, according to published sources, is effective
against more than 800 bacterial and viral organisms, 100 strains of
fungus, and a large number of single-cell and multi-celled parasites. This is a preservative that is used by many handcrafters in products
that contain water.
Using the information submitted
here, it is possible to handcraft and/or manufacture a 100% natural
product that is safe and effective for use. Using www.allnaturalbeauty.us will lead you to many companies that share the
same philosophy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sharon
for all of her hard work in bringing this site to life and the diligence
that keeps it going.
My name is Sharon Kinnier and I am the owner of Botanical Skin Works. I
believe in using fresh, active ingredients in skincare and body care.
 National Library Of Medicine
Gauthier JC, Avanti O, Scaletta C, Runge F, Kramer K, Applegate LA,
Photoprotective potential of lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin
C and carnosic acid in UVA-irradiated human skin fibroblasts. Free Radic
Biol Med. 2002 Jun 15;32(12):1293-303.
 Inhibitory effect of carnosic
acid on HIV-1 protease in cell-free assays, Paris A, Strukelj B, Renko
M, Turk V, Pukl M, Umek A, Korant BD., Journal of Nat Prod 1993