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.
Benzyl alcohol is a natural constituent of several essential oils. This fragrance material has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which means it can be used as a preservative, even in its synthetic form.
Thanks to the essential oils of ylang ylang, styrax or jasmine, Lush can benefit from the natural preservative power of benzyl alcohol in many products. However, there are times when we use this compound in its 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 the 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.