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My Experience at The Warehouse Sale + The Preservatives Problem

Take chances with Preservatives

My Experience at the Warehouse Sale

Hey guys,

  Sorry I took a break last week. I came back completely exhausted from all I had to do last week. I only recently got my apartment sorted out.

In case you don’t know, I recently started a paid internship at Estee Lauder, a company I’ve been trying to work for for years. My position is not exactly what I wanted but it’s a serious learning experience for me and I’m happy to have it.

Still, there are perks of being an intern here. One of which are the wearhouse sales held every three months. They are usually super busy events and from what I saw, there was literally a thousand people there.  I got there an hour before the doors opened and I still had to wait about 3 hours on the line to get in.

Luckily, the things I was able to get were worth the wait. For instance I got this Bobbi Brown makeup case that sells for $200 for only $15 and a Becca Aqualuminous foundation that blends perfectly with my skin for only $5! I also got a few Smashbox palettes and several additions to my skincare routine. (Sidenote: Essence lotions are the truth!) There’s also a lot I haven’t mentioned. I’m literally in makeup and skincare heaven right now and will be for a while.

That being said, I will now talk about the preservative Methylisothiazolinone or MI for short like I promised two weeks ago but got too tired to do.

The Preservative Problem

First off, why do we need preservatives in cosmetics anyway? Because they usually contain a lot of water. And wherever there’s stagnant water, there’s a huge chance bacteria and yeast we don’t like is going to grow there. To complicate matters, a lot of our cosmetics also contain proteins and fatty substances that nourish our skin and hair (but also the bacteria).

Now that we know why there needs to a preservative, what’s the problem? The problem is there really is no perfect preservative. For instance, Parabens (which I’ve talked about previously) are thought to be carcinogenic.  This idea came from a paper whose experiment I don’t think was designed well. However, the label stuck for many people and it caused a huge demand for a different preservative.

This is where MI comes in. It was originally marketed as a safer substitute to parabens and a lot of companies started using it. Now we are seeing that it has been causing a lot of allergic reactions and is being discouraged from use in leave-in products in Europe.

That is, we stopped using Parabens that we knew a lot about and switched to something we knew less about and it caused problems we couldn’t have imagined. AKA if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. You should read this article of a woman who believes her nerve damage is due to her severe reactions with MI.

Taking all of this in, I have a few obvious, but maybe not palatable, solutions to the problem of preservatives. These are:

  1. Let’s use less water in cosmetics: Water is a scarce resource although we sometimes forget. Plus transporting cosmetics with a lot of water is more expensive. This is why I like the idea Lush has of water-less cosmetics. I’ve never used them but they certainly seem like a step in the right direction.
  2. Cosmetics = Food: Would you be open to storing your cosmetic products in a fridge? They could be freshly made just for you and you then ensure they’re used up in a week. This could be a business opportunity for smaller, more niche brands to meet.
  3. Stick to Preservatives We Already Know, For Now: Parabens, the Formaldehyde releasers etc. Yeah they might not be perfect but that’s all we have for now. Of course we could develop newer preservatives but let’s be sure they’re actually better before jumping into using them on a wider scale.

That’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll see you next week if nothing else comes up. Wish me luck as I face another busy week. 

Until next time,


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