Formulating for the natural market can be fun until you try to keep your 'pure-enough-to-eat' cosmetic shelf safe for the required time. Many preservatives have been criticized for their potential to cause allergies, environmental problems or create toxins in otherwise safe products. While there is some science supporting part of these scary stories, it is fear based marketing that has relegated many of these old and trusted ingredients to the substitute bench. While being 'free from' may sell in some markets, formulators are often more interested in what the formulation contains. Few strategies which can be successfully employed to inhibit growth of microbes is the use of smaller packaging to avoid the repeat challenge test conditions of daily use, using formulation which uses super efficient humectants instead of water, all microbes that affect cosmetics need water to survive, and essential oils containing natural anti-oxidants.We take a look at what options exist for the modern day green chemist.