The Truth About Preservatives

Furtuna Skin wants your skin to look vibrant and healthy for a lifetime so we’ve invented a plant-based, natural preservative system that not only extends the shelf life of our products, it also prolongs the radiant life of your skin. But before we go into our wild skincare innovation, Longevità Naturale™ Preservative Blend, let’s talk about preservatives in general. Questions about preservative safety have created a pandemonium in the clean beauty industry so we want you to know the facts, beginning with the basics.


A preservative is a natural or synthetic ingredient that is added to a product to keep it safe from spoilage. Preservatives prolong the shelf life of a product and protect water-based products from contamination and microbial and mold growth. Oils do not require preservatives because microbes cannot grow in a water-free environment. A necessary part of formulating, preservatives ensure the microbiological safety and stability of a product and prevent it from changing over time. Without preservation, your skincare product wouldn’t stay fresh, effective or safe to use for very long.

Here’s a quick science lesson on pH and we promise there’s no pop quiz at the end. Our skin has an optimal pH level between 4-6.5. Most microorganisms can’t live in an environment below 4 pH level or above 10 but can grow in a pH environment similar to our skin. If we formulated at either extreme of the pH spectrum, the products would be irritating to skin. We use preservatives to create an unfriendly environment for microbes while maintaining an optimal pH for skin. Preservatives also prevent contamination. Every time you put your fingers into a jar or push the pump, you are introducing microorganisms that can cause the product to spoil. Microorganisms grow in water. The very place where your product is often stored, your bathroom, becomes humid during showers, an ideal environment for growth. The moral of this story is, preservatives are needed in skincare, so finding safe options is key.


Traditional skincare products are loaded with artificial preservatives to help them remain fresh for the duration between the date of manufacture and the time you finish using it. Some commonly used chemical preservatives that safeguard against bacteria and fungi to extend the shelf life of a product are:

    • Parabens, such as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben.
    • Aldehydes, such as formaldehyde
    • Glycol ethers, such as phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol
    • Isothiazolinones, such as methylisothiazolinone
    • Organic acids, such as benzoic acid, sorbic acid, levulinic acid, anisic acid

    These chemicals aren’t just hard to pronounce, they’re hard on skin. Synthetically produced preservatives may be great at keeping bacteria away but they’ve also been linked to allergic reactions, contact dermatitis, irritation and serious health problems.

    Parabens have been widely used as the go-to preservative since the 50’s. With scientific studies generating concern over their effect on the environment and health, parabens have become quite the controversial ingredient. And for good reason: Methylparaben, with its reputation for being an endocrine disruptor, has no place in any skincare product.

    Chemical preservatives work by irritating the cell walls of bacteria and entering and killing them as a result, That’s why they are effective but that’s also why they can be hazardness. They can’t distinguish between bacterial or human cells. If you’re slathering your face with skincare products everyday, these harsh chemicals can get absorbed and build up in your body over time.


    The European Union bans more than 1,300 ingredients from cosmetics, but in the U.S., only 30 are banned. Since beauty is one of the least regulated industries in the U.S., the clean beauty movement has stepped in to change views about preservatives and curtail the use of problematic toxic ingredients.

    Clean beauty means a product is free from a long list of ingredients linked to irritation and harshness. Driven by the rise in skin sensitivity and the world’s obsession with wellness, the clean revolution has forced the industry to take a closer look at what we put on our skin. Clean beauty is shaking up the industry, driving companies to find safer synthetic preservatives.

    In the meantime, the pressure to clean up formulas has led some brands to remove preservative ingredients from their labels, under-preserve their formulas or go preservative-free --which experts believe to be a health danger to us all.


    Furtuna Skin is transforming the clean beauty industry by going beyond safer synthetics to develop a natural plant-based, preservation system. Our proprietary Longevità Naturale™ Preservative Blend of plants delivers exceptional antimicrobial efficacy without harsh chemicals. Designed to maintain the freshness of our ingredients, our cutting edge Longevità Naturale™ Preservative Blend features wild-foraged Extremophyte™ botanicals harvested from the same plant community on our Sicilian Farm. The carefully balanced synergy of antimicrobial plants such as poppy, beet and chicory, preserves the longevity of our formulas and your skin. Longevità Naturale™ Preservative Blend is clean, green, and pure yet proven to protect against contaminants that compromise product integrity. Thanks to the broad-spectrum antimicrobial performance of this plant blend, no additional preservatives are needed in most cases to pass the USP 51 Preservative Test against all five challenges.


    Why do plants make such ideal skincare ingredients? How are they able to be such a powerful preservative and skin-restorative at the same time? Plants continuously have to fight off different microbes including bacteria and fungi in order to thrive in any environment. To protect themselves against pathogens, plants produce an arsenal of antimicrobial chemicals, antimicrobial proteins, and antimicrobial enzymes that serve as plant defense mechanisms. Botanicals also contain powerful antioxidants which also function as preservatives to prevent oxidation of the natural ingredients in a formula.

    The plants in our Longevità Naturale blend are dual-performance. Not only do they ensure a long shelf life for our products, they hydrate, nourish and protect your skin to extend its longevity, too. Plants need to stay nourished and hydrated so they develop their own sophisticated systems to absorb and store nutrients from the soil and water. On our La Furtuna Farm in Sicily, Extremophyte™ plants are nourished by the pure mineral spring waters that flow through the mountains and nutrient-rich soils that have been untouched for centuries. Our plants grow in communities and work as a team, sharing strategies to support, strengthen and protect each other from contamination while keeping future generations out of harm’s way. In harmony with nature, we formulate with plants harvested from the same community to leverage their natural synergies. Through our breakthrough Longevità Naturale blend, we are able to preserve the freshness of our formulas and extend the vitality of your skin for life.


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