Monday, April 8, 2013

A quick note and some links on contamination and rancidity

A thought for the day....Our products can harbour beasties long before we see the evidence of them in the container. By the time you see those pink or green spots, you've been colonizing contamination for quite some time. Please please please use preservatives! Unpreserved water containing products have a shelf life of about three days in the fridge.

If you don't want to use preservatives, then don't make water containing products. It really is that simple. Enjoy making anhydrous (non-water containing) products and enjoy things like lotion bars, whipped butters, lip balms, and more!

Want to see a video about contamination? Click here, then click on "The Importance of Preservatives". Ick! 

Related posts on preservatives:
Preservative section of the blog
Why use a preservative?
Preservatives: What beasties can contaminate our products! 
Preservatives: How do they work?
Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is NOT a preservative
How can I use essential oils as an anti-microbial? (Short answer: You can't.)

As for rancidity, Vitamin E, citric acid, rosemary extract or essential oil, and other anti-oxidants are a great way to retard this inevitable process. Add it at the appropriate amount to the appropriate phase - for instance, I use 0.5% Vitamin E in the cool down phase - and rejoice.

Related posts on rancidity:
Rancidity: A primer
Mechanisms of rancidity
A more in depth look at anti-oxidants (how they work)
Question: How do anti-oxidants affect the shelf life of our products?
Combining anti-oxidants


Jen said...

Thanks for all your hard work and reminders, Susan. I, personally, have no trouble with putting preservatives in my products. I only create things for myself, but would rather have exposure to a bit of preservative, than to have to deal with the consequences that could ensue.

On a different, but related topic, I have a friend who is becoming an avid Ebay customer and she has been looking at nostalgic products from Avon and the like and remembering them from her childhood. When she told me she was about to order a lotion from eras gone by that someone had stored and was "sealed and like new", I gave her a stern warning. I informed her that just because it's sealed doesn't mean it isn't running rampant with mold or organisms and that preservative systems aren't meant to protect for a lifetime. Her jaw dropped a bit and she thanked me because it's not something that she would ever have thought of.

Paul Mather said...

This is sound advice. Been there and tried going preservative free but of course, it just doesn't work!

Derly said...

Hello Susan,
Thanks for all your help helping all of us. I am wondering is Tocopheryl Acetate the vitamin E. That I should be using? I took that for the INCI name of Vitamin E. I am a newbie so I am now confused.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Tocopheryl Acetate is a form of Vitamin E. Click here for the Wikipedia link.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Paul! Can you share some details? I'm always interested in hearing more about experiences like this as I think it can demonstrate to others why we do what we do!

Hi Jen! Ewwwwwww!