Benzyl alcohol is a natural constituent of several essential oils, including ylang ylang, jasmine and styrax. This fragrance material also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which means it can be used as a preservative, even in its synthetic form.
Benzyl alcohol prolongs the freshness of a formula by stopping bacteria from forming a cell wall around itself. This means a second generation of microbes can’t form.
Thanks to ylang ylang or jasmine essential oils, Lush can enjoy the natural preserving power of Benzyl alcohol in many products, but sometimes Lush adds it to formulas in a synthetic form.
The need for preservatives is assessed by considering many factors: the type of product, its structure, manufacturing process, ingredients and application. Using this information and microbiological tests during product development, the appropriate preservative is then selected.
Lush use a maximum of two synthetic preservatives in any one product. They are used in low levels in order to limit disruption to an individual’s protective microflora - tiny organisms on your skin that protect you from harm. This low level of use also helps with the bio-degradability of our product and any waste material created during manufacture.
Lush formulate products without synthetic preservatives wherever possible, and sometimes need to use them to ensure customers get a clean, effective and lasting product.