A couple of times in the past few months I’ve written about ingredient choices and changes we’ve made to formulations. We have one more change coming in the next few weeks.

Up to this point, our moisturizers (hand cream, body lotion, and our new facial moisturizer) have been formulated with a preservative which includes diazolidinyl urea and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, with the chelating agent disodium EDTA also added. We initially chose this formulation because it was a paraben-free preservative, and we’ve had no complaints or reports of irritation. But we recently changed another of our product’s preservatives to Optiphen, a paraben-free and also formaldehyde-free preservative system which doesn’t require the addition of EDTA. In the coming weeks, we’ll be switching our moisturizers over to this preservative, as well.

Optiphen contains Phenoxyethanol in a base of Caprylyl Glycol. Phenoxyethanol is an aromatic ether alcohol approved for use as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products. Safety data demonstrated that it was “practically nontoxic via oral and dermal administration.” Caprylyl Glycol is an emollient and humectant which adds a luxurious feel to the finished moisturizer. We believe that in products that must have preservatives (those that contain water), Optiphen is currently the best and safest option, with the least impact on human health and the environment.

If you have been using our moisturizers, you may wonder if you will notice a difference after this change. The only part of these formulations that will be changing is the preservative, and in our tests, we haven’t noticed a difference in the way the lotion, hand cream, and facial moisturizers feel on the skin. Preservatives each have their own subtle scents, which are only noticeable when the products that contain them remain unscented. The scent of Optiphen is a bit different from the previous formulation, but it’s not an unpleasant scent. This is the only difference we’ve noted.

Of course, as with any product, skin irritation is possible. We’ve been using Optiphen in our sugar scrubs for more than nine months with no reported problems, and in tests it is not shown to be a primary or cumulative irritant. However, if you should notice any irritation, please discontinue use and let us know the details.

Any questions about this change? As always, please just ask! Be looking for this change in products that are shipped within the next month.