No Preservatives in Our Products

Article written by Janice Rosenthal

Owner and gardenofessences on etsy

There are no preservatives, chemicals, artificial aromas, or synthetic colorants, in  GARDEN OF ESSENCES  Body Butters, Carrier Oils, or Essential Oils.

GARDEN OF ESSENCES only sells Body Butters, which have no water (aqua) added to them. Why? Because once you add water to a Body Butter, it will go bad, thus necessitating chemical preservatives.

Try our Organic and Natural, preservative free, Body Butter creams for face, body, and hair.

Or, for the ultimate chemical-free moisturizer, treat yourself to our top seller on our etsy store:

Shea-Aloe Face and Body Moisturizer, Chemical Free, Fragrance Free Moisturizer for Sensitive Dry Skin.

no preservatives in our products


Isn’t it astounding that cosmetic ingredients, do not require approval by the FDA, before they hit the market’s shelves? From the Website of the FDA (the agency that regulates the cosmetics industry):

“Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, cosmetics and their ingredients, are not required to undergo approval before they are sold to the public. … “

Obviously, the blatantly toxic substances, such as arsenic, toxic color additives and a few prohibited ingredients such as deadly chloroform and mercury, are banned. But other than that, the following ingredients, and lots more, are allowed in the manufacturing of cosmetics, without testing by any higher authority!



Check your lotions and creams for the following ingredients, then make the switch to our all-natural products, which do not contain ANY chemicals.

The following toxic chemicals are found in most body and skin lotions, in order to preserve the product, or to add softness and appeal.


  • Butyl, Isobutyl, Methyl, or Propyl Parabens – preservatives in most beauty products. When they are absorbed into your skin, over time, they accumulate in the tissues. They mimic estrogen hormones, and can contribute to breast cancer.
  • Parabens are still the most common preservative in personal care products, even if many consumers are now avoiding products containing parabens, because of alarming reports, over the past few years.
  • Parabens have been found to cause skin irritation, contact dermatitis and Rosacea, in certain individuals, but the main concern is its estrogenic and potentially carcinogenic effects.
  • Scientific researchers have found Parabens in samples of breast tumors.



  • Supposedly safer than parabens, and advertized as a natural preservative. Its about as natural as plastic, meaning, that the original ingredient was found in nature, but after extensive processing, it becomes an ingredient that is so far from natural, that it can cause skin rashes and eye irritations. The sad thing is that people use these products, assuming that they are safe, then never realize why they have that strange eye irritation or ongoing skin rash…..



  • Hailed as the “harmless” alternative to Parabens, it is now used in most of the Natural and Organic ranges of products.
  • Phenoxyethanol is listed as a low hazard preservative, and a zero carcinogen, by the EWG Skin Deep Database.
  • Often it is found in “natural” products, when the Company states that their products are “paraben-free.”
  • BUT, the product’s OWN Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) says that Phenoxyethanol is harmful if absorbed through the skin, and that it can cause internal organ damage, if it is used over extended periods of time.
  • Phenoxyethanol, in a small percent of people, can cause allergies, such as mild skin irritation. This could be  caused  when inexperienced makers of cosmetics add too much  of it to their product, or it could be caused by a sensitivity to Phenoxyethanol.
  • It can be a moderate to severe eye irritant, which may cause serious damage to the eyes. Therefore, keep products containing it, away from the eyes.
  • HOWEVER, used in the correct, miniature dose, in cosmetic creams and lotions, it is SUPPOSED to be one of the least dangerous of all the available preservatives. It would be best to use products containing Phenoxyethanol, on limited occasions, and not on a daily basis, as any possible harm to the body, is caused by prolonged exposure.


It is advertized as the most natural preservative available. But there ARE safety concerns:

The “Material Safety Data Sheets for Grapefruit Seed Extract”, found synthetic disinfectants present, within the Grapefruit Seed Extract, which caused a general pattern of eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation.

In all of the antimicrobial Grapefruit Seed Extracts, the preservative benzethonium chloride was detected.

Also, some Grapefruit Seed Extracts contained the preserving substances triclosan and methyl paraben – both highly toxic (see section on parabens, above).

In only ONE of the grapefruit seed extracts tested, NO preservative agent was found. However, with this extract, no antimicrobial activity could be detected.

Thus, it is concluded that the antimicrobial activity being attributed to grapefruit seed extract, is merely due to the synthetic preservative agents contained within.



  • Antiseptic formaldehyde is used as a preservative in beauty products.
  • On contact, it can trigger allergies in the throat, nose and eyes. In large doses, it can cause cancers, including Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and Leukemia. Sweden and Japan have banned its use in cosmetics.
  • Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. It causes allergic, irritant, and contact dermatitis, and also headaches, and chronic fatigue.
  • There are many preservatives that release formaldehyde, for example, Imidazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin, so that, sadly, formaldehyde will not be transparently listed in the ingredients. Even the word ‘fragrance’ is actually a formaldehyde-releasing chemical substance.
  • Another example is Sodium Hydroxymethyl-glycinate. which is an antimicrobial preservative, that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. People exposed to such formaldehyde-releasing ingredients may develop a formaldehyde allergy, or an allergy to the ingredient itself.  EWG Skindeep Database lists it as a MODERATE to HIGH hazard, and a low carcinogen.  Compare that to Phenoxyethanol which they list as a LOW hazard, and a zero carcinogen.



  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are synthetic preservatives, that are potential allergens with cancer-causing abilities, that can contribute to reproductive problems, and thyroid, liver and kidney damage.



This is a known chemical carcinogen, which is created when ingredients are processed with petroleum-derived ethylene oxide. Ethoxylated compounds include: sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate and polyethylene glycol (often listed as PEG), myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth (or any other -eth), PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol.

1.4 Dioxane, release formaldehyde – see FORMALDEHYDE dangers listed above, in this article.



This is Vitamin A plus retinol, which, in combination, can damage DNA, when skin is exposed to the sun. Some studies have listed it as a carcinogen.



  • Petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil are by-products of petroleum manufacturing!
  • They are used to seal moisture into the hair and skin. They can cause irritation and worsen allergies.
  • Mineral oil coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores, and interfering with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging.
  • Also known as:

white mineral oil / mineral oil /medical white oil / paraffin oil / liquid paraffin / paraffinum liquidum / Vaseline / E 905.



  • Moisturizers utilize silicone-based siloxanes, to create a softer lotion. They can cause uterine tumors, infertility, and hormonal changes in humans.



  • TEA causes allergic reactions, such as unexplained eye problems, and dryness of the skin. It could be toxic, if absorbed into the body over a long period of time. These chemicals are restricted in Europe, due to known carcinogenic effects.



  • Professor Piper, of the University of Sheffield, claims that sodium benzoate can damage and inactivate vital parts of DNA, in the cell. There are many illnesses now tied to DNA damage, including Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases, Premature aging of the skin could be the first sign of cellular damage.



  • Ideally this is a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, both of which are natural. However, usually it is a synthetic petrochemical mixture.
  • Propylene Glycol has been known to cause allergic reactions, hives and eczema.
  • Also known as:

PEG (polyethylene glycol) / PPG (polypropylene glycol) on labels.

  • Although exposure to high levels of Propylene Glycol is known to cause potentially irreversible health conditions, the chemical industry claims that “small” quantities of Propylene Glycol are “safe” to use on the skin:
  • However, according to the safety data sheets of industrial chemical manufacturers, chemicals such as Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol will cause serious health conditions, including liver, heart and nerve damage, over time.



Urea, also known as diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, or DMDM hydantoin and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, are preservatives that have the potential to release formaldehyde in small amounts and are a primary cause of contact dermatitis.



EDTA has been shown to enhance the penetration of other ingredients contained in a product.

Thus, it will also increase the penetration of other toxic ingredients, in some cases, right into the bloodstream.

ETDA, made from Ethylenediamine, Formaldehyde (a known carcinogen according to the
National Cancer Institute) and Sodium cyanide (which is made from the toxic gas, hydrogen cyanide).

Known to be cytotoxic and genotoxic to animals.

Synonyms are:

TEA-EDTA  / Edetate sodium  / Tetrasodium edetate  / Tetrasodium salt.


This new replacement for Parabens, sounds good, but ‘organic’ does not always mean that its good.
For example, you can buy organic arsenic.
All it means is that the grain had no pesticides sprayed on it.
Here are the reasons to avoid it, if its listed in your skin products:
1) It make the product stink. The smell is like surgical spirits. No amount of essential oils added to it,
will get rid of that smell.
2) It makes the inside of your nostrils dry out instantly.
3) It breaks down the skin’s natural barrier, which increases penetration of good ingredients such as
herbs, but as the skin’s barrier is thinned and weakened, it becomes dry and unbalanced in many
ways. It will also increase the penetration of other toxic chemical ingredients, in some cases, right into the bloodstream.
4) The following alcohols are moisturizing: cetearyl / cetyl / stearyl. Grain alcohol is drying.

Synonyms are: ethanol / alcohol / organic alcohol.




The above chemicals are just a small list of synthetic ingredients to avoid. There are many more, so keep researching those strange words you see printed on your ingredients labels.

  • Essentially, making the change to all-natural products, is the only way to go, if you are serious about protecting your health.
  • Don’t forget – long term absorption of the above ingredients, could have serious health consequences for you.
  • Making a commitment to placing products onto your skin, that contain no chemicals, is one of the most important things you could do.


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