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All about preservatives: Optiphen

by Nustad Family Ranch 17 Jan 2023
All about preservatives: Optiphen

There's nothing worse than opening your favorite jar of natural body products, made from non-toxic goodness, only to find that it’s crawling with mold and bacteria. Repeat after us, gross…. The product you thought was clean and “so good for you,”  is not so good anymore. Who knows what is growing in there and how that organism can harm you. 

When we began our skincare development journey, we had safety for not only the Earth, but everyone in mind. Skin-safe ingredients was (and still is)  our main goal. But with so many preservatives to choose from, how did we choose Optiphen? 


Although we were toxin-free, preservative-free, something so safe you can eat obsessed, we knew that our lotions would not hold the shelf life without preservatives, so, we knew we had to make a few adjustments. We knew there had to be a preservative that did not release formaldehyde, contain parabens, noncarcinogenic and was as natural as possible. 

Although there are many natural preservatives out there such as: grapefruit seed extract, Tea Tree Essential Oil, and  Vitamin E oil, these are not effective in water-containing formulations. Additionally,  they would need to be present in a such high percentage, that they would either; make the price not feasible, the scent way too strong, or become toxic in their own right. Thus, there was a decision to be made, ensure our customers refrigerate our products or offer preservative-free upon request. Ultimately, we decided to offer a refrigerated version upon request was fine, as our concern for contamination and customer’s safety was a priority. 

So, what is it about Optiphen then? Why is it so special? 

Optiphen contains Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, and Sorbic Acid. It offers broad spectrum protection in emollient-based products, such as creams and lotions. After researching in EWG's Skin Deep database- Phenoxyethanol is rated a 4, Caprylyl Glycol received a 1, and Sorbic Acid a 3, the product's total score is a 3. Considering that most products today scored a 10 (that's really, really bad),  3 seemed pretty realistic. Furthermore, Optiphen has been clinically studied and does not cause cancer or reproductive harm in long-term use. 

Currently, the only products to contain this preservative are our lotions, and body butters, as the remainder of our products, are shelf stable for up to 2 years. However, know that we are happy to handcraft special orders with absolutely no preservatives, just like we started. You need to be aware, however, that we do not make any guarantees as to how long the product will keep for you. 

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