really basic toner last week to moisturize and (I hope) de-redden my skin. I'm quite happy with it, but I think I need to dilute it! So this got me thinking about those sites that claim "no fillers", with water being one of those fillers. Water isn't some useless ingredient we add to products to "water them down" or make them cheaper. It has a huge role to play!
As much as I love aloe vera, witch hazel, chamomile hydrosol, and other liquids, they all come with a little something extra. They might be acidic or alkaline, they might contain little flecks of biological matter, they might be electrolytes that can mess with thickening or other features, and so on. Water is and has none of those things. We want to add pH 7 distilled water to make things work the way we can predict!
Adding water to something to dilute it isn't a bad thing, either. I like my toner, but I think it might be too much for my skin in the sweaty summer months. It's a bit too sticky for my tastes. With a bit of water, it'll be just perfect. As much as I love my body wash, I don't know if having 90% surfactants is a good idea, so I dilute it by 50% or so.
It dissolves our extracts, hydrates our skin, and reduces the concentration of ingredients. I think it has an important role to play in our products, and I don't consider it a filler. What do you think?
The purple mister bottle is from Aquarius & Aroma Soap (Mission, B.C.), where they have tons of neat bottles, including green, pink, black, blue, and amber. (I'm not being paid to say this - I live near this company and I really like their containers!)
preservative usage in our products. All our preservatives come with a suggested usage rate, and I choose to use my preferred preservatives at the maximum rate. Why? Because it really isn't that much - 0.5% to 1% of the final product - and I can rest assured that it will work as promised at the higher levels.
Here are my thoughts...We aren't as clean as we'd like to be when making products. We can't create a sterile environment, our storage containers aren't always straight from the supplier, and our creating containers and utensils have been used before. We do what we can with gloves and hair nets and rubbing alcohol and dishwashers, but we are never going to be 100% clean. (And let's be honest, do you buy a brand new, unopened container of distilled water every single time you want to make something?) Preserving isn't just about what happens when the product sits on your shelf - it's about how the product starts.
I could use liquid Germall Plus at 0.1% instead of the maximum 0.5%, but that would be assuming that everything possible went right. All my ingredients were opened for the first time, my distilled water was brand new, my containers were spotlessly clean from the supplier - but nothing every goes smoothly in my world! It's safer for me to assume that things aren't as clean and sterile as I would like and use the 0.5% liquid Germall Plus to try to combat anything that might arise.
As an aside, I find a few of the people with whom I correspond who want to be all natural do some of the things that are more likely to create contaminated products, like re-using containers or failing to heat and hold. These good manufacturing processes are in place to help us make great products, not to annoy us or waste our time! If you are planning to use some of the new preservatives considered more natural, you will be working with hurdle technology. This technology requires close attention to every part of the process, and not doing the most basic things like heating and holding is a sure way to have problems.
What do you think and why? Share your thoughts!
There are no right or wrong answers here, just opinions, so play nice and debate instead of arguing. The goal is to learn from each other, and we can't do that if we're feeling attacked or demeaned. Anonymous posts will be deleted when I see them regardless of tone. Put your name at the end - Bye, (name) is all it takes!)