Preservatives for Lotion
Preservatives, so a preservative is an antimicrobial solution that prevents mold, and bacteria, and other yucky things from growing in your product. Preservatives are needed in any product that contains water, any product at all. That's products that we add water to, or even products that contain water and that might have water introduced to them, say in a shower situation, like a scrub. You can't see or smell mold growing in your products. And that's important because if you are thinking I care about my ingredients, I'm thinking about selling this, I really am excited about selling it. If you're using a lotion that has mold or bacterial contamination and you have a cut on your hand you can introduce all kinds of negative things into your customers bodies, your friends bodies, your own body, your family's body. And if you don't use a preservative, say you're just so anti-preservative you can't stand it, you can make lotion without a preservative but it's only going to last for about on...
e to two weeks. And you only, and then you have to keep it in the refrigerator, like milk, right. Like all the fresh products that we use and we eat, we keep in the refrigerator, help keep longer. There are really great broad spectrum antimicrobial preservatives that you can use. Our recipe uses Optiphen today. And Optiphen is super easy to work with, it's a broad spectrum preservative, and it's paraben and phthalate free. It is a really common misconception that antioxidants, like GSE, grapefruit seed extract, ROE, rosemary oleoresin, or rosemary oil extract, and vitamin E work as preservatives. They don't provide broad spectrum antimicrobial or antibacterial activity for general use at home. What they are though, is fantastic antioxidants. They are stunning antioxidants that help prevent you oils from going rancid in your lotions and give a longer shelf life, and in terms of label appeal a lotion with vitamin E is certainly very appealing compared to just plain lotion, right. But they are not actual preservatives, and they won't prevent mold or bacteria growth. So, whenever you're making lotions make sure you're choosing a preservative. Phenonip or Optophen are great options. And Germaben's been around for a long time and is fully tested. Yes?
Annemarie, we do have a number of questions, as you probably often do, coming in around preservatives.
Yeah, preservatives are controversial.
Around natural versus not natural. So, a question that had come in was, and again thank you for talking about on the last slide, the grapefruit seed oil, vitamin E, etc., this is from Krista Zellar, says, are there any all natural preservative options for lotions? Those that I just I mentioned, or does one have no choice but to use things like sodium benzoate etc.?
Sodium benzoate is not a great option if you're a home crafter and you're selling your products. So, the short answer is no, there's not a great natural option out there for home crafters that are manufacturing lotions that will keep you consistently antimicrobial. That's consistently antimicrobial, and will keep your products mold free for a long time. If you're manufacturing products for sale, it is imperative, it is on you, to make sure you're making safe products. It is illegal under FDA standards to make products that are misbranded, or not considered safe. And for home crafters, we do not have access to the same kind of clean kitchen, the negative air pressure, airless packaging, that many of the kind of bigger natural brands have. So, for home crafters I haven't found a truly effective, all natural preservative that works over a wide range of PH's, and works over a wide range of temperatures. There's a lot of them out there that have narrow bands of use, meaning like it only works from a PH of six to eight, and only if you add it at a 142 degrees. That is something that most home crafters and home manufacturers are just not going to be able to measure. They're not going to have the PH meter. So, it's preservatives, I know, can be a really controversial topic. But that's something that I really feel strongly that you should be using an effective, tried and true preservative that's been around for 50, 20 years, as opposed to some of the new natural ones. I will tell you I've tested about 15 natural preservatives at Brambleberry, and 100% of them have molded on me over time. Sometimes they took six months, but they molded on me. And that was using clean kitchen environments where I was taking care of my, like making it myself. So, it's, unfortunately I really do recommend Phenonip, Optiphen, or Germaben.
Thank you. I mean this is the stuff that we, as newbies, need to hear because.
Oh absolutely. And you see so much on the internet about well just use Japanese honeysuckle, or just use GSE, like the reality is the reason you can't find a lot of grapefruit seed extract anymore is because they did, in eight of the ten tests they found there was parabens present in the GSE. And that's why it was preserving the product, not because it was an all natural preservative.
Yeah, a really interesting topic. But it's important that, for your own safety and your family and friends safety, and your customers safety that you are making a product that is going to be shelf stable and is not gonna mold on them in like five to eight months. 'Cause we all know how long some of those lotions sit around, right?