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17 August 2020
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You know, people have ALWAYS been up in Black women's business when it comes to our bodies, our hair. Too skinny, too fat, short, too nappy, too whatever. And you know what? Leave us alone. There is a...
30 May 2020
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Curl definition really isn't the right term for use with actual afro hair. Afro hair is more tightly coiled that curly. Curls are a loose pattern. Afro coils are a tight pattern. So, I am go...
22 June 2021
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I want to say something about the current iteration of the "natural hair community" and I am going to be blunt. Fractured -- that term came to mind because of all the splits into tribal...
27 July 2019
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The best thing you can do for your natural hair is to keep it moisturized. Understanding how well your hair holds moisture and how it treats products is the key to making sure your hair stays soft and...
21 August 2020
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A new study conducted by Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, a management professor and a senior associate dean who conducted the research at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, has been released with no...

Natural Preservatives

Some options for natural preservative systems in your skincare products and their effectiveness.

Below are the pros and the cons of the most popular and effective varieties of natural and naturally derived preservatives.


Grapefruit Seed extract offers some anti-microbial protection for the water content of your skincare formulation, however it does not offer broad spectrum coverage, especially when it comes to protecting your product from the growth of mold. While it may help keep the water content of your formulation from spoiling for a short period of time, it is not a reliable long term solution when used exclusively - especially if you require long shelf life for your products. It is advisable to use Grapefruit Seed extract in conjunction with a mold resistant preservative such as Potassium Sorbate.

Application:Grapefruit Seed extract can be used up to 1% in your entire formulation.

Notes: Grapefruit Seed extract tends to react with certain thickeners causing them to separate. *Grapefruit Seed extract is accepted by Organic Certifying Bodies for use in Certified Organic skincare.


Anti-oxidants work by reducing the oxidisation of the oil component of your formulation. It is important to remember that anti-oxidants do not protect the water component of your product from microbial action or from the growth of mold. They are used purely to help keep the oil content of your formulation from going rancid. 

How To Use: Rosemary Antioxidant can be used up to 0.5% of your entire formulation.

Notes: As this ingredient boasts a very strong smell and colour, any more than this can affect the appearance and aroma of your product significantly.
Rosemary extract is accepted by Organic Certifying bodies such as the ACO for use in Certified Organic skincare.


Naticide is the latest natural preservative on the market. It is very effective but significantly more expensive than other preservatives. It is accepted by Organic Certifying Bodies for use in Certified Organic skincare products. 

How To Use: Use up to 1% of your entire formulation. 

Note: Naticide boasts a very strong smell. Some people find the almond/vanilla scent desirable and in fact may use it solely for this reason. Others feel that it overpowers all other scents in the product and interferes with the unique and uplifting aromas of essential oils - and therefore, choose not to use it for this reason.


Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and can be used in formulations to help prevent the oil content from spoiling. 

How To Use: Use up to 1% of your entire formulation.

Note: Vitamin E is accepted by Organic Certifying Bodies for use in Certified Organic skincare products.

Last modified on Sunday, 19 November 2017 12:53
Patricia Gaines

Patricia Gaines aka Deecoily is the founder and creator of Nappturality in 2002, the beginning of the natural hair movement. Since 2000 she has been blogging on all things natural hair, Black culture and politics.

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