The goal of preservatives are to extend shelf life and inhibit mold, bacteria, fungus and yeast. Some products need preservatives others do not. Water-soluable products for example are prone to mold contamination and if they are to live out of the fridge for an extended period of time they may need something to protect them from spoilage. For our water-soluable products we use a radish root ferment as our main preservative. Rather than acting like a standard antibiotic, wiping out all bacteria, it acts more like a pro-biotic, colonizing the product with good bacteria that will keep the bad out. This radish root ferment is also known to be a pore-cleanser and skin-brightener.
It is made using the microorganism Leuconostoc, a bacteria from lactic acid - the same bacteria used in the kimchi fermentation. Additionally, the development of a salicylic acid increases the preservative action while simultaneously keeping pores clear. This radish root ferment will not disrupt the skins microbiome and is not harmful to the workers who produce it (something far overlooked). As compared to phenoxyethanol and parabens it’s quite expensive, but there are no hidden costs to the body or planet... so we’re cool with that.
For our oil based formulas we steer clear of oils that are prone to rapid rancidity, and rather use oils with longer shelf lives and high antioxidant profiles. In both water and oil-soluable products we employ ingredients (powders, extracts, carrier oils, essential oils etc.) that are known for their antioxidant and anti-bacterial/microbial/fungal/viral activity, thus creating another hurdle to spoilage. We put expiration dates on our products to promote use at their freshest but our products have shown to thrive far longer than we suggest and none have yet to demonstrate any signs of mold, yeast, or microbial contamination.