All of my serums are made in small batches using fermented radish root as a preservative. This gives most of them a shelf life of around 6-8 months.
But lets talk more about preservatives.
The goal of preservatives are to extend shelf life and inhibit mold, bacteria, fungus and yeast. Some products need preservatives others do not. Water-soluable products for example are prone to mold contamination and if they are to live out of the fridge for an extended period of time they may need something to protect them from spoilage. For our water-soluable products I use a radish root ferment as my main preservative. Rather than acting like a standard antibiotic, wiping out all bacteria, it acts more like a pro-biotic, colonizing the product with good bacteria that will keep the bad out. This radish root ferment is also known to be a pore-cleanser, skin-brightener and a moisturizer.
The radish root ferment I use should not disrupt the skins microbiome. As compared to phenoxyethanol and parabens it’s quite expensive, but there are no hidden costs to the body or planet... so that’s something I feel quite good about!
For oil based formulas, I steer clear of oils that are prone to rapid rancidity, and rather use oils with longer shelf lives and high antioxidant profiles, like Kakadu Plum Oil and Goji Seed Berry Oil to name a few. In both water and oil-soluable products I use ingredients (powders, extracts and carrier oils, I do not use essential oils in any form) that are known for their antioxidant and anti-bacterial/microbial/fungal/viral activity, thus creating another hurdle to spoilage. When you purchase any of my products, you are getting the freshest batch, with serums having a shelf life of about 6 weeks. My small batch method to formulating my serums promotes use at their freshest but my serums have actually shown to thrive far longer than we suggest and none have yet to demonstrate any signs of mold, yeast, or microbial contamination, according to my customers. Feedback is so important to me and it is what allows me to keep on improving my formulations.