I'm pretty sure vitamin e has preservative qualities as well. Those might be working together to preserve the products. Both are in the butters and looking at mine it still smells and looks as good as it did when I first got it. Plus those look like they come in bottles so its not like your hands would be all up in it- it probably won't get exposed to bacteria like say the butter in a jar wouldI'm sorta concerned that the conditioner and leave-in only have grapefruit seed extract as a preservative. does this stop bacteria and mold? I think you need something stronger, like optiphen?? Am I wrong??