Friday, October 22, 2010

Preservatives: Liquid Germall Plus

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you'll know that my preservative of choice is liquid Germall Plus. It contains propylene glycol (60%), diazolidinyl urea (39.6%), and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (0.6%). It's a broad spectrum liquid preservative that should be used at 0.1% to 0.5% in the cool down phase of your products. It's suitable for all but anhydrous products - the diazolidinyl urea is water soluble, so it's not suitable for all oil creations like scrubs or lotion bars.

It is a formaldehyde releaser, thanks to the diazolidinyl urea, but it is paraben free. It's suitable for all pH ranges we encounter in our products, but it isn't approved for aerosol use or oral use because of the IPBC. (This does not include misters like body sprays or toners, but pressurized aerosols). We use it in the cool down phase of our products as the diazolidinyl urea is not heat stable. Use it at 0.1% to 0.5% at temperatures lower than 50˚C.

This is my personal preference when it comes to preservatives as it's inexpensive, easy to use in the cool down phase of my products, and it doesn't mess with the emulsions or stability of the products. I've tried it in pretty much every product I make except for anhydrous scrub bars, and I've never had trouble with contamination.

Summary of liquid Germall Plus. 
INCI: Propylene glycol, diazolidinyl urea, and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.
Usage: 0.1% to 0.5% in the cool down phase of your creations.
Water soluble - not suitable for anhydrous products.
Suitable for all pH ranges.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just for the sake of clarity - you don't need preservatives in anhydrous products! You only need preservatives in anything containing water which might be subject to microbial activity.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Although you don't need preservatives in anhydrous products, any products that might come in contact with water like sugar scrubs or scrub bars should be preserved. (Check out this post on sugar scrubs and water activity.)

Nedeia said...

Dear Susan,

If one has a rebatch to do (e.g. failed to add something in the oil phase , but remembered right after adding Germall Plus), what would happen with the preservative when we reheat the lotion to add the missing ingredient? I know I have to add the preservative again, but I am worried about what would germall plus "do" on our skin. Would such a lotion still be usable, or do I discard the entire batch?

I am asking this because I am in this particular situation, but with a 50 grams batch - so not much of a loss if I were to discard it :)

The same question applies to preservatives in general: what happens with the preservative if heated in case you want to add something to the lotion that was forgotten, especially when you cannot afford to throw away the failed batch?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nedeia. I've responded to your question in this post! I hope this helps. (The short answer - it's never okay to reheat a lotion!)

Addison Gast said...

Sorry to be "off topic" but you are the one peron that will give an answer that I can understand. (Yes, because your articles and instructions are very complete IMHO)
I purchased a 200mL stam distillation unit and the first process I tried was rosmary (fresh from my garden) washed, dried nd needles only. I PACKED the stea unit with material, hooked up the water for the condenser, filled the steam unit with wter and started boiling. LOL 90 minutes later, all I had was some distilled water --no oil.
any ideas wha happened?

tj said...

I have read that germall plus "has no known inactivating counterpart ingredients" will adding an alcohol in any way harm the preservative properties? Thank you, your blog is a tremendous resource!

Anonymous said...

Hello!! Just ran across your blog. I'm a newbie with making body scrubs. I would like to make this particular one which includes: sugar, Epson salt, vitamin e oil, grated coconut, coconut milk and grape seed oil. Must I add Liquid Germall Plus to this mix? Your help is greatly appreciated!!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Addison. Sorry for the late response. I have no idea - I've never tried to distill an essential oil. I wish I could help, but I would only be able to offer theoretical advice from research.

Hi TJ. Do you mean alcohol as in liquid alcohol or alcohol as in fatty alcohol (like cetyl alcohol)? I think my question might be irrelevant, though, because there if there are no known activators, these two things probably won't inactivate it.

Hi Anonymous. Why do you want to make this scrub? What is it about it that appeals to you? What does coconut milk or You are trying to make something that has both oil and water and it won't emulsify. As well, you are using grapeseed oil, which has a really short shelf life. This is a recipe that cannot be preserved, even if you use a preservative because it is composed of fresh ingredients and you would find contamination in it regardless of how much preserving you do. The sugar, milk, and grated coconut are havens for the beasties that can contaminate our products, and you simply won't be able to preserve them properly. You will have to make it every single time you wish to use it.

As well, the sugar and salt will dissolve in the coconut milk, which means you'll be adding a lot of both to actually make it work. I really don't see how this recipe can work, to be honest. Did you make it up or did you find it somewhere?

Have you seen my scrub recipes on the blog? Click on the link "anhydrous" or "scrubs" or do a search for sugar scrubs. I think they're lovely!

If you really want a scrub with coconut in it, I'd suggest a basic one with coconut oil - take about 50 grams coconut oil and mix in 50 grams of sugar (salt can sting a lot!). Use that. If you want to use grapeseed oil, then use about 50 grams coconut oil, say 20 grams grapeseed oil, and 70 grams of salt. If you want a fragrance, add it at 1% of the product amount. So if you make 100 grams, use 1 gram of fragrance. Melt the coconut oil slightly, mix in the oil you want, mix in the salt, mix in the fragrance. Mix well and put in the fridge to solidify. Use. Rejoice.

I think it is great that you want to use preservatives! If you want to make an oil based scrub, like the one I posted above, then you'll want to use Phenonip as your preservative. Or you can remove enough from the jar to use for one shower and use that without having a preservative. Whatever you take into the shower, you'll have to throw away once you've put your wet hands into the container, but you should be able to keep the scrub in the fridge for the length of time of the shortest shelf life oil. If you use grapeseed oil, you can have it for maybe 3 months if you open the grapeseed oil bottle that day.

As an aside, look at the oils section of the blog to see the benefits of grapeseed oil. You get all those benefits and more from soy bean oil, which has more phytosterols, more Vitamin E, and more linoleic acid with a one year shelf life and about 1/3 the price!

Anonymous said...

Hi Addison. Thank you so much for your prompt and informative response. I have a lot to learn about body scrubs and soaping. I will start with your blog. Thanks again!

Tiffany

Shell said...

Hi, I'm VERY MUCH a newbie to making bath & body products. I would like to give them away as Christmas gifts but I cannot make them the night before... I also would like to tell the recipients of these gifts how long they will last and how to properly take care of them. I'm starting with Melt & Pour soap, (I will be misting with rubbing alcohol) do I need to add a preservative? If so, which one would you suggest? The same question goes for the lip balm, shampoo (I bought a gallon of shampoo base), body butter (with cocoa butter, shea butter & coconut oil), body mist (I bought a gallon base). Eventually I'd like to make bath bombs as well. I'm very new to figuring percentages, I'm finding it difficult. It is common with almost all recipes. I can't tell you how much I'd appreciate your help! This blog is awesome!!

Lady Key said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hello,

Question. Can I use .03% of the Liquid Germall with .05% of citric acid and .05% of potassium sorbate and my water and oil based products last at least 2-3 months?? If not what is the best way to preserve these products and have them last at least 2-3 months or more? Thank you

Tanya said...

Dear Susan, I am fairly new to the DIY creams and lotions world. I have all my ingredients minus the preservative because I keep reading conflicting info. Could you plz help me out. I understand you are big fan of Liguid Germall plus. I am pasting something from a website: http://www.skincaretalk.com/t/14673/avoid-germall-plus-germall-ii-and-germal-115. Plz give me your opinion. Thank you in advance!
Watch out for these: Germall Plus, Germall II and Germal 115 (preservatives), when making your lotion. I constantly find claims that they are safe in homemade lotions all over the place. They are the main cause of eczema and contact dermatitis in skin care products (according to the American Academy of Dermatology). According to this very informative web site again cosmeticsdatabase.com<<<, this product has the ingredient DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, sometimes just called Urea (as well as others not quite as bad), which has been linked to cancer and a LIST OF EFFECTS AND HAZARDS TOO LONG for me to list here in the areas of- cancer, neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin irritant, penetration enhancer, and cosmetic restrictions in other countries. This ingredient contains government warnings that it is hazardous, yet time and time again I find web sites selling this product as- safe for homemade and natural creations, so even the people buying them who don't do their homework think they are doing the world a service with their homemade lotions and soaps and they are not. Here is an example, but I will not disclose the web site for their protection...
"Liquid Germall Plus is effective at very low concentrations, has no known inactivators and is compatible with most cosmetic ingredients. Liquid Germall Plus has been evaluated as safe for both rinse-off and leave-on products and has a safe toxicology profile. Suitable for Moisturizers, (Lotions and Creams), Shampoos, Conditioners, body wash, body sprays etc."
Then the company goes on to list the toxic ingredient DIAZOLIDINYL UREA in it's profile. They probably don't even know what they are selling themselves. We all just think that someone would tell us no if something was bad, right? Wrong. Right now our country does not protect us adequately from hazardous material. It is our own individual responsibility to stay informed and protect ourselves and our children or risk harm. That's an undeniable fact.
Bottom line... There is no one regulating this stuff. We have to protect ourselves and our children. All of this stuff is relatively new too compared to how long mankind has been evolving on this planet, moisturizing our skin with products that grow on the earth the way God and nature intended it. We have no idea what the past 20- 50 years of putting all of these toxins, synthetics, chemicals and hormonally boosted animal parts or animal throw away parts on our skin on a daily basis has done to our genes for future generations to come. I guess we will find out soon enough.
This information is a report based on years of research. I encourage your own investigation into this matter. It's important for us all to stay up to date.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tanya. I disagree with this writer and feel her tone is inflammatory. I don't consider cosmeticsdatabase.com a reputable source. I hate phases like so-and-so "doesn't do their homework" and "there is no one regulating this stuff". There are many many regulations in place -ask someone who sells their products - and these ingredients are well studied. They are considered to be "generally recognized as safe" when used at the suggested levels by many different government organization. We can all make our own decisions, but I've been using it for years and I'm really happy with it.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how long this preservative is effective for. What sort of expiration date should someone put on a product that uses this preservative? Also is the powdered form odorless? Thanks in advance

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I've deleted the comment made because it was anonymous, which is against my wishes, but here's the gist of it. To learn more, visit the Weekend Wonderings post in which I write more and offer some links.

An anonymous commenter asked: Do you know how long this preservative is effective for? What sort of expiration date should someone put on a product that uses this preservative? Also is the powdered form odorless? Thanks in advance.

I don't know about the powdered form, sorry. The liquid form is odourless. The preservative has a shelf life of two years, which means if you use it the day you buy it, you can preserve a product for two years.

A shelf life is a hard thing to figure out, what with the shelf lives of the ingredients in theory and in reality, including things like anti-oxidants, and what your friends and family will do with the products when they make it into their hands.

atmostfear2015@gmail.com said...

as a self taught chemist
I will tell you this chemical is used in skin lightning products such as blemish acne scars etc and then in others for anus and genital bleaching at home. so far I know its carcinogenic but that doesn't matter that's the consumer and my own choice.. I wonder if I could use this for a good batch of what you're were in the direction of trying to make I believe.. no???

Anonymous said...

How can I determine if I can lower the percentage of the Germall Plus liquid used in a lotion? I'm currently using .5% and would like to lower it to .4 or even .3% if possible. I started at .5% because this is the first time working with a preservative and wanted to make sure nothing grew in my lotion.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Atmosfear. I don't understand what you have written. And it appears English is your first language based on your link, so what are you saying?

Hi Anonymous. Get your product challenge tested and make sure nothing is growing in it, then make that decision. If it's the first time you've used a preservative, you'll have to keep the product around a long time and watch it before you know you've used it properly. (And please use your name when you comment on this blog...)

Leslie Lugo said...

Hi Susan,
I am new to your blog and have learned so much! After multiple rounds with some worthless emulsifying wax, I finally have created beautiful, creamy lotion with Ritamulse. I am using the Liquid Germall Plus, but am having a hard time with the thickness. My kitchen scale measures to the hundredth of an ounce, but doesn't seem to register small amounts of the Germall Plus. I use a disposable pipettes but the dang stuff is so thick it doesn't all come out. Any words of wisdom on measuring out this stuff? Could a graduated cylinder be used at it be volume added instead of weight? Thanks!

ChristineMM said...

OY vey. People keep,saying use this at 1 percent of finished product. They do not understand that 0.1% is not 1%. The calculation is 0.001 x weight of finished product.

Rusty at basic decimal arithmetic I guess. I think you need to iodate your post to add the clarification. Spoon feeding I know but laypeople making these products in their kitchen may not realize they are rusty at the math.

They are making videos on YouTube too,

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Christine. I hope I've addressed it enough in today's Weekend Wonderings. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

BTW: This isn't a suitable preservative for scrubs as it's water soluble.

Anonymous said...

Propylene glycol, dermatologists have told me, is known to cause skin irritation. I developed a strong allergy to it several years ago. Some good quality creams are now advertised as not containing it.
Do you have other preservatives?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Yes. Take a look at the preservatives section of the blog! Please your name in future comments, as anonymous comments are deleted.

Margey said...

I came across your blog after searching on line regarding Germall Plus. This is a little off topic....I purchased Dermatend mole remover which is 100% natural ingredients, but I received an email from Amazon forwarding a letter from the FDA claiming a recall of the product. I don't trust the FDA...they allow GMO's and Aspertain and are always trying to get natural remidies off the market. Anyway, their notice didn't specify which ingredient, but after googling all ingredients I came across this link: http://www.skincaretalk.com/t/14673/avoid-germall-plus-germall-ii-and-germal-115 . I don't know if it's true or not, but I'd like to know what you and your readers think. Thank you.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Margey. Welcome to the blog. Unfortunately, the original poster in that thread isn't well versed in chemistry, as evidenced by the comments he/she made about urea, something that is found in our skin, urine, and sweat. It's completely natural. I will put this to you - if I thought this was dangerous, would I share products made with it with my mom, my husband, the kids in my youth program? If there was my evidence that liquid Germall plus was dangerous, would I use it on myself? This is a discussion that really doesn't fit in with the philosophy of this blog.

I would take a recall by the FDA very seriously and not use that product. LGP isn't the reason that product was recalled.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan
You state that Germall Plus is not good for making scrubs, which is what I was considering purchasing. Could you please tell us then, what preservatives you do consider suitable for scrubs please? Thanks so much. Linda

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Linda. I love liquid Germall Plus for water containing products, and if you're considering making products with water, then this is a great choice. For sugar sctubs, I like Phenonip. Here are a few posts on the topic...

Why can't I use Germaben II in a scrub?
Using water soluble preservatives in anhydrous products

Reni said...

Can Liquid Germall Plus be used with Optiphen Plus in the same batch without adverse reactions to the skin and to the efficacy? I've made a test batch of lotion and the consistency and skin feel are good and there is no irritation. I used .5% of each product. Is using both acceptable? I've extensively researched this and can't find anything on the use of both preservatives together.

Nicole said...

Hi Susan,
I have been reading up on your blog and i just recently started making hair products for natural ethnic hair. Would you consider Liquid Germall Plus to be a good preservative to use for hair products like conditioners and hair creams? If not what would you suggest? I've really enjoyed reading up on your blog and will continue to do so!
Thanks!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Nicole! Liquid Germall Plus is my favourite as it works in just about every product!

Makg said...

I'm not a professional. But the subject interest me since taking a cosmetic class (by some lovely people). In my pursuit of finding a suitable preservative I stumbled on your site and the following (which seemed to be reasonable and just made sense) So I thought I'd share it.

http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/06/preservatives-in-cosmetics-natural-vs-synthetic/

Makg said...

The following was of interest (it seems along this subject):

http://personalcaretruth.com/2010/08/exposing-the-formaldehyde-myth/

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

There are so many things wrong with that article. Take a look at the comments section to see what others had to say because they make all the points I'd make if I was so inclined. I'm a little surprised at Personal Care Truth for posting it.

IEDarla said...

I have been agonizing over this as I make sugar scrubs. A few months ago, I found this on "Making Skin Care" The advise comes from a retired microbiologist from I believe proctor and Gamble and I forget his name. "If water may be introduced to the product or the product used in a humid bathroom then a preservative is advisable. An expert microbiologist advises that if trying to preserve an anhydrous product (including all oil+sugar/salt scrub) the oil soluble preservative will get locked in the oils so will not reach any water, if water was introduced into the product. So if you added an oil soluble preservative then that preservative will stay in the oils and not move over to where the water is located to protect that water against bacteria and mould so would be useless. So contrary to what you may have read, we should really use a water soluble preservative in an anhydrous product which means we’d need to add an emulsifier to get that preservative mixed in properly with the oils.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi IEDarla! This is a matter of great dispute. On the Making Skincare Facebook group there are many discussions with some taking the side of using an oil soluble preservative while others argue for a water soluble one. (I've seen the post many times where someone suggests that someone should write to me because I'm wrong. If you look at that post, you'll see there's a lively debate there with differing opinions!)

As of right now, I'm sticking with Phenonip as it's a preservative that works with both oil and water soluble prdocuts. This was the suggestion made by my guru, LabRat, on the Dish forum in the past, and it seems right to me. The suggestion was made that we use an emulsifier for the water soluble preservative, and I do that in every scrub as mine are generally emulsified scrubs.

I'm looking into this debate more and hope to have something on it shortly. It just seems that every time I come to some conclusion, more information is added to the argument.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,
I know a lot of people use Liquid Germall Plus and don't remember seeing this mentioned anywhere so I thought this was worthwhile pointing out:

I for the specific gravity of Germall Plus so I was checking out MDS sheets from various suppliers and came across this on Lotioncrafter's website.....
"Liquid Germall Plus should not be used in oral, lipcare, or aerosolized products"
This is stated in the Technical Data pdf, not the MDS sheet.

Do you have any insight as to why?
I was wanting to make a lip moisturizer using it :O

Erin

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Erin! It probably hasn't been approved for those types of products. Why? I'm afraid I don't know. (This is one of the reasons I haven't made any toothpaste in the past. I don't know which preservatives are safe for oral usage.)

Anonymous said...

I think I'll stick to my original plan and go the 'no fail' route with an anhydrous serum.
I'll also look around for an emulsified lip product to see what they've got in it.

Erin

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. Please put your name on your posts or I will have delete them. I have made it clear that I don't accept unnamed posts as it doesn't make for a very friendly community.

These percentages are from the data bulletin from the company, so you will have to take issue with their math. Since things are generally done in weight in cosmetic chemistry, I'm thinking it is by weight!

lesa barnum said...

hi my name is lesa and I am still confused if germall plus can be used in a milk ie. goat milk lotion...you see i dont have any Phenonip and when i google i dont get a no..or a yes..please help ty

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lesa. I don't know about goat's milk lotions as I don't make them or use them, but I would think you'd want something that is even more preserving than liquid Germall Plus, like Germaben II. Maybe even a combination of two preservatives to make sure it is very well preserved as milk is a magnet for contamination!

Bunny said...

Blaaaargh~ Susan, is this stuff supposed to be super viscous? Any tips on how to weigh it? Like... tare my jar of lotion, then add drops of this directly into the lotion until my scale is at the correct amount? I just made my FIRST EVER LOTION (huzzah and hurrah!!), but kind of erred on the side of low for the Germall because I tared the Germall and pipetted out 0.5%... but then I couldn't get all 0.5% OUT of said pipette... YEESH.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Bunny! Yeah, using a pipette on Liquid Germall Plus is a quick way to ruin a pipette and not get enough into your container at the same time! It is very viscous. I just put it directly into my lotion container. If you are going to be making more bath & body products, invest in a scale that can weigh down to 0.1 grams so you can add things like preservatives and extracts!

Bunny said...

Oh yeah, I do SCIENCE for a living, so I really have no excuse for screwing this up. ;) Now that I know it's thick, I'll be prepared for next time! We have all sorts of creative ways for weighing viscous liquids and gels at work... sometimes you get polymers or surfactants that are the consistency of GLUE STICKS and you just have to make it work...!

I do own a one-point scale, but buying it was kind of disappointing-- we use two (or more!) decimal point scales at work, and I really miss that second decimal sometimes!

Ryan said...

Hi Susan,
You wrote, "I love liquid Germall Plus for water containing products, and if you're considering making products with water, then this is a great choice"
My question was, Is germall plus a compatible preservative for a mostly liquid product 85-90% water? I'm creating an aftershave milk that will be a pourable product and wanted to make sure I can use germall plus as an effective preservative. Thanks, Ryan

Ryan said...

Susan, I found this page on your site. It looks like I can.
http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/07/liquid-germall-plus-in-spray.html

Doreen B said...

Would this preservative be good with a product that contained asorbic acid in a gel form and what is the preservative intended to be used at 1%-5%?

Penny Sosebee said...

I made a lotion with Naturamulse. Everything was looking great until I added Germall +.
I can't find anything that specifically states that Naturamulse doesn't play well with this preservative.
Could this be the reason I have had separation?
I didn't add any extra additives with the exception of dimethicone.
Other ingredients were normal lotion ingredients: water, cocoa butter, avocado oil, olive oil & essential oils .

Thanks for any guidance
Penny

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Penny! No, there are no conflicts using that preservative. In fact, this is my favourite and I've used it with Ritamulse so many times. Could you please write up your complete recipe in percentages and your process so we can help more? As a note, I've found if you add the cool down before it reaches 45C, you will get an epic lotion fail.

cespri said...

Hi Susan! I recently found your blog and I'm enjoying it immensely! I too have difficulty with the really viscous fluids, like Germall plus, dimethicone 1000 cs, vitamin E, glycerin, and castor oil. I read your answer to Bunny and I am putting it straight into the lotion container and I do have a scale that measuret to 0.1 g, but my main problem is getting it out of the bottle/storage container! I can't really pour it since it will be impossible to control the amounts, and using a pipette will ruin it (I was somewhat slow in accepting this fact and ruined several in the process...). How do you get it out of the bottle? Using a spoon? I've considered buying glass pipettes since they can be cleaned with a pipette brush, maybe that could work. Thanks! cespri

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Cespri! Are you keeping your products cold? I ask because these things are easy to get out of the containers if you just pour them and have a bit of patience. Have you tried using turret caps that would allow you to squish the bottle but control the flow? Yeah, don't use a pipette of any sort. Just get some squishable bottles with turret caps and keep them at a proper room temperature and you should be fine.

Let us know how you get on!

Cespri said...

That's a great idea! I'm storing some products cold but not these. I can get them out of the bottles it's just that the whole content comes along. I haven't been able to find turret caps in Europe (maybe someone else knows where to get them?), but I think I'll get some kind of dripper insert to reduce the opening and see how that works. I may have to rebottle the products to make the inserts fit which I don't like since I always thought that contact with air would reduce shelf life, but now that I'm learning more I think it will be ok. I'll tell you what happens!

Diane Escobido said...


Hi Susan!

I am new to making DIY cosmetics. I want to make a mist with essential oil with it. How much percentage of liguid germall plus i should use?

I am also planning to make lotions, natural preservative I should use? if there is no natural one, what should i use?

Same question if I want to make salt and sugar scrubs.


Thank you in advance

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Diane! As I mention in the post, you can use 0.1% to 0.5%. I recommend the higher amount. You could also do a search for "room spray" or "fragrance spray" and see what I recommend there.
Again, as I mention in the post, you can use liquid Germall Plus in lotions.
There are no natural preservatives I can recommend as none of them are passing challenge testing well.
May I make a suggestion that you do a search for scrub on the blog and see what I recommend in those posts as preservatives? I've written quite a lot on this topic.
I'm glad you're getting into this wonderful hobby!

Lilly said...

HI Susan, I'm trying to determine a preservative system for my hand made liquid soap. My liquid soap has a pH of ~ 9.4 but out of an abundance of caution I would like to add a preservative that can be effective at that range. I've read that Liquid Germall Plus might be OK, although technically the range is < 8. I've also read about Suttocide A, with which I have no experience. Do you have a recommendation on a preservative that works well at pH of 9 or slightly higher for high water solutions, preferably non-paraben?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lilly. As much as I love preservatives, there's pretty much no need to use them at a pH of 9.4 (which I assume you've measured with a meter for accuracy). You can use Suttocide A, if you wish, but if your reading is correct, you might as well not bother if it's a good container, like a pump bottle.

Angela Rhodes said...

Hi, I want to add Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate to my Germall Plus liquid for my lotion what would the usage rate be?

Natalia said...

Hi Susan, I was wondering if i can combine liquid germall plus and optiphen plus to preserve my product? I've made a cream with 12% aloe vera (the rest are beeswax, oils, butters,clay, and arrowroot powder), I made two batches, each of them using different oreservatives. The first batch, I added 0.5% liquid germall plus, and for another batch I added 1,5% optiphen plus, but both batches always end up with white spots throughout the cream. (i noticed when I looked at it by turning flash lights on. Am i doing anything wrong with the preservatives? I add it at cool down phase.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Angela! What does your supplier say about combining this chelating ingredient with this preservative? And ask your supplier about suggested usage rates. They're the experts on their ingredients!

Hi Natalia! Why would you want to combine two preservatives? I'm afraid that without knowing your complete recipe in percentages along with your process I can't offer much information, but I think it's the clay and arrowroot powder causing the problems as they are very hard to preserve.

Natalia said...

Thanks for the response, Susan.

Because i thought my cream is not well preserved. After several days, i found white spots throughout my creamm eventhough there are no molds. I use quite large amount of powder, around 21% arrowroot and 5% clay. The rest are 11% beeswax, 17% oil, 18%butter, 10%magnesium oil, 2% vit E, 0,5% charcoal, 2% essential oil, and 1,5% optiphen plus. Yes, i thought maybe it's because the clay and the powder. Do you think it's still possible to preserve if I use only a small amount of powder, let's say 5-10%? or will it help if i use dry flo around 5%?

kiaaura said...

Hi Susan,
I've never use any preservatives for my soaps, body butters or creams but am planning to include it in my products, so I'd purchased liquid Germall Plus.

My questions are :
1/ Do I need to add preservative(in this case is LGP) in my melt & pour base soaps? From what I read, Glycerin based soaps do no require preservatives.
2/ My body butter contains Rosewater and/or other types of flower water. Do I need LGP to be added in to preserve it?
3/ Do I need to add LGP in lip balm, which does not contain water but mostly oils, beeswax and vitamin E
4/ What would happened if I add LGP in my sugar scrubs? I am afraid the oil/sugar will go rancid without preservatives.

Thanks in advance Susan

zignorp said...

Hi Susan!
I really appreciate you! So much! I went to lotioncrafters to order more liquid germall plus, and I notice that in the EU it's restricted from being used in body lotion or body cream: http://www.lotioncrafter.com/liquid-germall_plus.html Do you have any idea why that is? Thanks, Wendy

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Natalia! Your lotion is a magnet for contamination with all the powders and clay. I think you need a stronger preservative, something like Phenonip or Germaben II to help with it. Having said that, where's your emulsifier in this product? You have the water soluble magnesium oil in there, but no emulsifier to bring it together with the oils. I would try the recipe with a proper emulsifier and no powders and see how it turns out. I think that's the only way to know if the powders are causing a problem.

Hi kiaaura! No, you don't need to preserve melt & pour soaps because they're either too alkaline or they contain a preservative already. Yes, when you use water soluble ingredients in a product, you must use a broad spectrum preservative like liquid Germall Plus. No, you don't need to add preservatives to oil only products if they aren't coming in contact with water. Liquid Germall Plus is a good addition to your sugar scrub. Preservatives don't prevent rancidity, they prevent contamination. Anti-oxidants like Vitamin E retard rancidity. Your sugar won't do anything - it doesn't go rancid as it doesn't contain oils. Only oils can go rancid.

I think this post in the newbie section might interest you! Check out the other posts in that section to learn more about preserving our products.

Hi Zignorp! I'm turning this into a Weekend Wondering post shortly, so please look for the long answer there soon. The short answer is that the EU doesn't like one of the ingredients, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.
From Lotioncrafter