Optiphen is a preservative that manufacturers have taken a shine to. You can find it in artisanal small batch crafted skincare, as well as products labeled organic and natural. Optiphen’s two main ingredients; phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol. Optiphen acts as…
Butyl- , Ethyl-, Methyl-, Propyl-, These are the big four paraben offenders that also have a body of research behind their side effects in people and the environment.
Disodium EDTA and Tetrasodium EDTA are used in cosmetic formulas to promote stability by binding to metal ions in the formula, such as lead or calcium. This bonding action helps prevent oxidation and also keeps these minerals from being deposited on the hair, skin or scalp. EDTA’s are common in shampoos, fragrances, detergents, liquid soaps… the list goes on.
Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidiazolidinyl Urea, Methylisothiazolinone – They are almost guaranteed to irritate you. These ingredients all function as biocides – they kill living cells that they come in contact with. Calling them harsh is putting it lightly.
Every purpose that glycols serve in personal care products come down to their humectant properties; their ability to control moisture in a formula, and in some cases inhibit mold growth, by absorbing excess humidity. Glycols are often not enough on their own to maintain the stability of water based formulas unless they are used in volumes of up to 50% of the total formula. Glycols are an excellent solvent that can also potentiate other preservatives; making them more effective. They are often added to enhance the feel and spreadability of a product. It is important to note that although these glycols are humectant solvents they do not moisturize the skin and may actually pull precious moisture out of your skin, leading to increased dryness. Now on to some specifics-