Sunday, October 31, 2010

Preservatives: Geogard Ultra

Geogard Ultra is an interesting broad spectrum preservative in that it contains no parabens or formaldehyde releasers, and it depends upon sodium benzoate - an organic acid - as the main preservative. It comes in a white powder format and the INCI is D-Glucono-1,5-lactone (aka gluconolactone, 70% to 80%) and sodium benzoate (22% to 28%).

We know sodium benzoate is bacteriostatic, which means it limits the growth of bacteria by messing with its metabolism and it's a fungicide. The gluconolactone is added to be a chelating and sequestering ingredient (like EDTA), a free radical scavenger, and a moisturizer that is on par with about 2% glycerin. It might also be good as an AHA substitute! The concept behind this preservative is called "hurdle technology" (look for more about this in an hour or so).

It's water soluble, so it's suitable for products that don't contain oil, and it can be used in the heated water phase or at the cool down phase, although you have to "make a solution" to include it at the end (it's a powder and needs to be dissolved). It's soluble in water, propylene glycol, glycerin, and mineral oil, and insoluble in vegetable oils, ethanol, and dimethicone. Use it at 0.75% to 2% in products with a pH of 3 to 7.

Usage of Geogard Ultra:
INCI: D-Glucono-1,5,-lactone and sodium benzoate.
Usage: 0.75% to 2% in water containing products. Not suitable for anhydrous products.
Add to any phase of your product.
Suggested pH level is 3 to 7.

Just in case you're not a regular reader of the comments, please take note of what melian has to say!


swift, some time ago tildy of southern soapers posted this information about geogard ultra:
"Be sure to use it at the higher usage levels. I had it in testing for 18 mos and not only does it have a narrower pH range than Lonza states, but long term, it is not robust... especially for any products you will be sticking your hands in repeatedly. I also checked with a few of the contract manufacturers I do business with, and they concurred with my testing results also.


Just make sure that whatever your technical data sheet actually says on the pH range that you reduce that range by 1/2 of a pH level on both upper and lower limits.


If you use it, plan to do microbiology on a 1 to 3 month interval for about 12 to 18 prior to selling. My batches for serums, lotions, and body creams saw preservative failure in the 9 mos to 18 mos time ranges.


Southern Soapers started to bring this in. We were certified and inspected to carry it, had pails ordered and paid for. That is when our final tests came back.. and we then decided NOT to bring this in."


To interpret this, so you'd want to use it at pH 3.5 to 6.5, and you want to get your products tested if you are serious about this preservative.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this series on preservatives. Goegard Ultra is one the really interests me.

Being a possible AHA substitute causes a bit of concern though. Does that mean if my lotion contains 3% PhytoFruit & 1% Geogard Ultra, that I really have 4% AHA?

Katherine

melian1 said...

swift, some time ago tildy of southern soapers posted this information about geogard ultra:
"Be sure to use it at the higher usage levels. I had it in testing for 18 mos and not only does it have a narrower pH range than Lonza states, but long term, it is not robust... especially for any products you will be sticking your hands in repeatedly. I also checked with a few of the contract manufacturers I do business with, and they concurred with my testing results also.

Just make sure that whatever your technical data sheet actually says on the pH range that you reduce that range by 1/2 of a pH level on both upper and lower limits.

If you use it, plan to do microbiology on a 1 to 3 month interval for about 12 to 18 prior to selling. My batches for serums, lotions, and body creams saw preservative failure in the 9 mos to 18 mos time ranges.

Southern Soapers started to bring this in. We were certified and inspected to carry it, had pails ordered and paid for. That is when our final tests came back.. and we then decided NOT to bring this in."

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. Possibly. We have to be careful of keratolytic ingredients that might interact with each other (think of things like papaya extract combined with white willow bark - too exfoliating), so I would be careful with this preservative!

Hi melian! As usual, you bring something really interesting to the blog - thanks for sharing! I need to update the post with your comment so others can see it!

kontakt said...

I've heard that quite a few people get hypersensitivity reactions from benzoates. These days, when many brands learn the consumers don't like parabens and choose benzoates instead, if a product makes you itch sensitivity to sodium benzoate might well be the problem. melian1's comment does not exactly make me more interested in trying it.

Lauren Zabaneh said...

I'm a newbie in the lotion-formulation world and I bought a small amount of the Geogard ultra to use in my lotions that I am trying to come up with. Well, before I started using it, I had made a batch of lotion that turned out really well. It has not separated.

Now, knowing I like making lotions and I want others to try it, I wanted a safe preservative to use. I made a batch of lotion the other night using it in the 1% range and adding it to the water before heating.

I will mention it was a new formulation. I cooled it down to 120F and I added the vit E and blended more. soon after that it started to separate.

I thought it was because of the Vit E. So I made a different formulation (also with the geogard) and it seized up immediately to a stiff cream while i was using the hand blender. I added the Vit E and kept blending. All of a sudden it turned to liquid. It was so bizarre! It is now separating just from sitting for a few minutes.

So all that to say, could it be that preservative? have you heard of it causing such problems?I am so frustrated! any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Britney Dossett said...

I am allergic to Sodium Benzoate, and it is extremely hard to find organic lotions without it. If you know of any without any other harmful preservatives, I would highly appreciate it!

le blogue a Pierre said...

Where can we buy it? What is the Price?

Bunny said...

I've been trying to research this one, as it's one of the few approved in most European/Asian companies. I hear it's got a bit of a problem with pH drift (downwards) over time... I wonder if benzoates all do this, as their mechanism is a conversion to the acid form? The technical data sheets mention you can buffer it with a citrate or phosphate buffer, but I don't think this is something the home crafter can buy?

WELL LONG STORY SHORT I work in a chemistry lab with real, certified pH meters, so if I get a sample of this to try I'll sneak a bit into work to check!

Jillian said...

They sell this at Ingredients to Die For. It's called GSB there. I paid $17.42 for 4 oz. I'm trying it for the first time now and am nervous after reading the posts about it, along with the fact that I'm using it with Olivem 1000 (can't emotionally afford another failed product right now)!

Jillian said...

As a follow up to my last comment: I used GSB for the first time and noticed it smelled really bad before using it. Once completed, the lotion itself smelled so bad I had to throw it out. I called the supplier and they said that the smell should not linger in the final product and that it was my inclusion of Olivewax and Olivem 1000 that made the lotion stink. But I don't know. I'm weary of using it again.

Lauren said...

The Glucono Delta Lactone is known to cause a pH drift, which needs to be watched out for.

Even though this preservative is listed as being safe in Euro/Japan for now, it has to be bolstered by proper packaging and lowering the water activity through other means, such as glycol concentrations, etc. I haven't seen much love for it in hard to preserve systems, such as those containing botanical extracts.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Can you add Geogard Ultra to essential oils and base oils, as well as water?

Thanks,
Hayley

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Hayley! As it mentions in the post, this is suitable for water soluble ingredients. So, no.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Thanks for this informative article.

I would like to make bar soap (hot process) that is high in linoleic acid, but realize that will have implications in terms of rancidity and shelf life. Could you please recommend an appropriate preservative?

Thanks,
Tracy

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tracy. You don't need a preservative in soap as it has an alkaline pH.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

If you claim the preservative didn't work. I would like to see the lab test that shows this. We find that this preservative does perform in our formulas for around 8 months. We have not had one formula fail test. I would like to know what ingredients you have in your formula and how it is dispensed.

When it comes to pH drift, it doesn't mean that it is a result of geogard ultra causing the drift. It really depends on the formula and the interaction between ingredients and making sure to use ingredients that can stabilize your pH.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. I don't allow anonymous posting on this blog, so please revise it with your name by the end of the day or it will be deleted.

If you read the post again, you'd see that I'm not the one saying it didn't succeed, Southern Soapers said this. I suggest you get in touch with them. Interestingly enough, I note that they said it didn't work at the 9 and 18 month mark, while you mention it works at 8 months.

As for the drift, I'm not the one saying this, so perhaps you can take this up elsewhere?

Nikos Giannakopoulos said...

I will try to make your basic recipe for hair conditioner and as a preservative I have found here in Athens Greece the Geogard 221. What is the difference with the Geogard Ultra you are advising?

I have found a chart here but didn't understand it.

http://www.lonza.com/products-services/consumer-care/personal-care/preservatives-and-protection-systems.aspx

Can I use it at the same ratio with Ultra?

Thank you in advance, Nikos

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nikos. The data bulletin to which you linked will give all the information you need to use that preservative.

Corissa Jones said...

Hello again!
is the Geogaurd ECT the same formulation as the Ultra?
link to info from Voyageur :)
www.voyageursoapandcandle.com/Geogard_ECT_Preservative_p/62453.htm?1=1&CartID=1
thanks again for all your help and letting us pick your brain!

Lizzie said...

Hi,
Geoguard Ultra is GLUCONOLACTONE & SODIUM BENZOATE (Its a Powder)
and GEOGUARD 221 is DEHYDROACETIC ACID & BENZYL ALCOHOL & WATER
Both are different preservatives.
Its interesting that most people mentioned that they used Geoguard Ultra at 1%, why not try it at 2% to see if it makes any difference?
It can be included at 0.5% to maximum of 2% in recipes.

Liz Tóth said...

HI, Susan...if this one has been addressed elsewhere I apologize; I've checked quite a few blogs and websites and haven't found a viable answer. So: I made liquid soap with just oils and KOH, denatured alcohol, and a bit of borax, and would like to use it in a foamer dispenser. The diluted pH is about 9.5; I measured with a digital pH meter. I expect I need a preservative in this; trouble is I have allergies to formaldehyde-releasers, phenoxyethanol, methyldibromo glutaronitrile, isothiazolinones (I don't know if some of these are related), and quatermium 15; I have some of the Geogard from Voyageur but it looks like it's not going to work at this pH. I'm not averse to using parabens but I haven't been able to find one without phenoxyethanol yet. So the question is:is there a preservative you can recommend in this situation (I'm in Canada, in case that makes a difference in terms of availability) Thanks a million!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Liz! Do you need a preservative for an alkaline soap? What about Germaben II?

Liz Tóth said...

Thanks for your reply... unfortunately, Germaben II contains Diazolidinyl Urea, which is a formaldehyde-releaser. I'm thinking Suttocide A might be my only option: according to some of the sources I'm looking at, Suttocide A releases formaldehyde only at concentrations >= 1% (I can keep the concentration below that) and it's available from Voyageur. Do you have any ideas on that one? I'm not sure of the reliability of the sources so I'd like your insight before I order... thanks!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Liz. Check out the preservatives section of the blog to see the detailed posts I have written on various preservatives.

Ron Guba said...

About the mention of pH drift with Geogard Ultra: The glucono-d-lactone hydrates to gluconic acid when added to water. This process takes a number of hours to complete at room temperature and is sped up by heating.

So, if you are measuring the pH right after addition, you are going to get a false high reading. Wait until the next day...

Katie Smith said...

Can Germall Plus and Geogard Ultra be used togther? Is there any advantage of using them together? I just want to make sure that I receive complete antimicrobial and anti-fungal action.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Katie. No, there's no reason to use two broad spectrum preservatives together. Each of these is supposed to offer broad spectrum coverage, so you would use one or the other. Having said that, when you see what people are saying about Geogard Ultra, maybe just using Germall Plus on its own is a better idea?

Katie Smith said...

What are people saying about Geogard Ultra?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Take a look at the post and the comments for what melian had to say.

Carmit80 said...

Can honeyquat be used with geogard ultra? Thanks! Carmit