I have been asked a lot lately about preservatives and whether or not we use them. The short answer is no, we do not use preservatives in any of our products. But this has nothing to do with feeling they are unsafe and everything to do with the fact that we have chosen to make products that do not require a preservative to stay fresh and germ free.

Any product that has water in it (like lotions) or that comes into contact with water (like a body scrub for the shower) needs a preservative to keep it, and you, safe. It stands to reason that a product with water develops mold or bacteria if something is not used to keep them out. Just like water left in a bottle with some flowers in it will mold if you leave it on a will lotion! But somehow this has been forgotten by most in the quest for "natural" alternatives to traditional skincare. I would much rather use a product that has %1 synthetic preservative than use a "natural" one that could get me very sick if it goes bad. Staph infections are natural too...natural does NOT always equal safe.

There aren't any "natural" preservatives on the market. Salt can preserve a body scrub but the salt cannot combat any bacteria that results from water being introduced--it's antimicrobial properties are just not strong enough. Vitamin e and grapefruit seed extract are sometimes touted as "preservatives". The thing is, they're not! They are very effective antioxidants, meaning they can prevent rancidity of oils. But they are nowhere near strong enough to prevent the growth of mold and other pathogens in skincare!

So, Dot & Lil products are all anhydrous (contain no water) and as such we have no need to preserve them. But believe me, if they required it, we would use it!

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xoxo, Anne + the Dot & Lil Team