Essential Wholesale & Labs Shares Insight into Natural Preservatives

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Essential Wholesale & Labs shares insight into the efficacy of essential oils as preservatives. While essential oils possess powerful anti-microbial properties, they will not function as full-spectrum preservatives.

Essential oil lovers are seeing more and more studies demonstrating that essential oils have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Tea tree, cinnamon, clove, wild oregano, peppermint, thyme and other oils are regularly promoted in just this way. And it is accurate that when applied directly to mold, yeast or bacteria, these essential oils are very effective at eliminating these pathogens. However, they do not function as full-spectrum preservatives in a finished product. In other words, the tea tree oil in a facial cleanser may very well help kill acne causing bacteria living on the skin, but it will not provide full-spectrum preservation for the cleanser itself. Essential Oils are rarely used in bases in percentages above 3%. And while a shampoo with 5% clove would smell be overwhelmingly of clove, that 3% clove would still not be nearly enough to prevent microbial growth for any length of time.

Essential Wholesale & Labs’ standard preservation system is a very low concentration of phenoxyethanol and Tetrasodium EDTA. Some people simply don’t like these preservatives and Essential Wholesale & Labs offers a line of organically preserved bases preserved with different herbs and flowers in certified organic grain alcohol creating a synergetic preservative system that is perfectly suited natural products. Essential Wholesale & Labs can custom manufacture all kinds of unique bases using 100% natural extracts.

Essential Wholesale & Labs continues experimenting with new preservation systems in our on-going mission to replace phenoxyethanol and EDTA in our stock formulations, but despite literally hundreds of experiments, they have yet to find preservation systems as effective as either organic extracts or the phenoxyethanol-EDTA combination. They are hopeful we will be able to offer alternatives in the future, but they are confident that full spectrum preservation with 100% essential oils will not be one of them.

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Alex Badcock
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