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Preservatives That We Use

Hello sweeties!  

You may have seen that our conditioner bars have some ingredients with funny sounding names. There is a layman’s rhetoric hitting the scene for a while that if an ingredient has a name you can’t pronounce, don’t use it and/or it’s not safe. This is untrue and I could write an entire novel on why this is nonsense. As a formulator of cosmetics I want to give you complete transparency on why I choose the ingredients that I do. While I'm committed to being an ethical business from practice to product, this article is going to be focusing on scientific information and I hope that I can break it down into easy (hopefully interesting) reading for you.


Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Glycerin & Sorbic Acid


This composition offers broad spectrum protection in a diverse range of products against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, yeast and moulds. It is a preservation system that meets the ECOCERT standards and is COSMOS accepted and has a wide range of global regulatory acceptance.


Benzyl Alcohol

Benzyl alcohol is produced naturally by many plants, flowers and fruits such as ylang ylang, wallflower, tuberose and strawberries. It can be synthesized safely via the hydrolysis of benzyl chloride or hydrogenation of benzaldehyde. Benzyl alcohol is antimicrobial including bacteria, yeasts and moulds. It is completely safe in regulated cosmetics use.


Salicylic Acid

Found naturally in willow bark and meadowsweet. Historically isolated in the 19th century by European chemists. Native Americans used willow bark infusion for fever and other ailments. It has antiseptic and antifungal properties. Other natural sources of salicylic acid are found in berries, tea, olive oil, sweet potato and even beer! Salicylic acid is also known for it’s exfoliating properties in cosmetic use. It can be safely synthesized in laboratories and is completely safe in regulated cosmetic applications.



Glycerin is a colourless, viscous liquid that is widely used in cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food and industrial services. We use plant based, palm oil free glycerin in our liquid soap too. Our soap bars produce glycerin during the saponification process (while the soap is setting and doing it’s magic thing) which help to add more humectant properties to the finished product. Perfectly safe in regulated cosmetic applications.


Sorbic Acid

Sorbic acid is an organic compound, it was first isolated from the oil of berries from the rowan tree, by a German chemist in the 19th century. It is also safely synthesized in laboratories. Sorbic acid is antimicrobial and is used safely in foods and cosmetics. It is completely safe in regulated cosmetics use.


I hope that this information gives you a little bit more clarity. Little Blue Hen Savonnerie will always be transparent with these matters. I began the toxin awareness path over 20 years ago when I developed the debilitating illness myalgic encephalomyelitis. I’ve seen a lot of false information regarding the cosmetics industry and misleading articles. There's even an organisation scaremongering everyone with incorrect and missing information, literally profiting off fear. Unfortunately as some sales people of cosmetics would have you believe "they have done a lot of research" which means google and biased opinions of unscientific findings and to make things more chaotic, green-washing has gotten out of hand.

My business is dedicated to creating products that are gentle, vegan, luxurious and safe. Safe does mean that preservatives are needed for some formulations, especially where water is either included or possibly introduced into a product from the user, this could mean a simple powder cleanser or anhydrous skin scrub. All it takes is moisture from a spatula, fingers and steam in a bathroom to enter the unpreserved product for mould, yeasts and bacteria to thrive. The natural ingredient cosmetics boom is introducing more opportunities for infections to proliferate because bacteria et al thrives on the biological ingredients used. A biohazard if you will. This is why it is very important to introduce preservatives, of which there is an abundance of safe choices to use.


Thank you for reading.

Your chief Savonnière ~ Michelle





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