Honey based formula with no preservative

One of the cleansing product by indie brands sold in EU market uses 55%honey and sucragel. And there's no preservative listed. 

Full Ingredients: 55% organic. Mel (honey), Sucrose Laurate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (sweet almond oil), Glycerine, Citrus Aurantium Flower (orange flower water), Daucus Carota (organic carrot), Calendula Officinalis (Calendula), Stellaria Media (chickweed), Nigella Sativa ( organic black cumin seed oil), Helianthus Annuus Oil (organic sunflower oil), Olea Europaea (olive oil), Cera Propolis (propolis)

My question :Is it okay to use honey in such high %s and also with no preservative? 


  • yes, honey is a self-preserved material. depending on the % you use you may not need any preservatives. the other issue is the water rate, if the water content is high you may need one. best way to understand it, do a challenge test. 
  • You mean the water within honey used determines the need for preservative and the quantity of honey that can be used within a formula? 
  • i think water content in honey varies. If the water activity in the honey is low enough, microbes will be unable to grow. However like gomorrian said, the only way to really know is to do testing.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Just to be clear, honey is not a preservative. The only reason honey is self-preserved is because it has a low water content. If there is water in the system, the potential for microbial growth is real.

    There are 2 things required for microbial growth, food and water.  Honey has food but no water.  Similarly, bottled water typically doesn't need a preservative because there is no food.

    But once you mix food (honey) with water, microbes can grow and you need a preservative. 

    Whether you need a preservative or not just depends on your system & that can only be determined by testing.
  • Remember that if it hasn't been irradiated honey will contain spores that are very difficult to kill. 
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