Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Wonderings: How does cetearyl ethylhexanoate feel? Do I need to preserve my coconut milk shampoo?

In this post on cetearyl ethylhexanoate, seventh77 asks: Is it as dry, drier, or less dry than BTMS-50? I find BTMS-50 to be far too drying for my skin. I like the powdery feel, but it leaves my skin feeling dry and not moisturized. I don't like greasy or oily feeling creams, but if cetearyl ethylhexanoate is similar to BTMS-50, then it probably won't work for me.

The esters feel more like using hazelnut oil or grapeseed oil rather than using something like BTMS-50 as an emulsifier. I don't like the powdery feel either, but I love this ester! I would compare it to one of the drier feeling oils - hazelnut, grapeseed, borage, evening primrose, or pomegranate oil - or cyclomethicone. I really love this stuff!

As an aside, have you seen the price of borage oil lately? Easily double that of evening primrose! Since they are very similar, I'm going EPO instead!

In this post, Back to the very basics: What you need to know when creating any product, Chrissy asks,  I know that preservatives are required in water based products, and this may be a stupid question but what if I am making a shampoo with canned organic coconut milk, castile soap and oils. Is citric acid good enough or should I be using a preservative and anti-oxidant? So far the only "preservatives" I have used are honey, glycerin, 70,000 IU Vitamin E oil, rosemary essential oil, and basil essential oil. As you can see those aren't exactly preservatives. I don't really want to use any harsh chemical preservatives, but I want my shampoo and my conditioner which is coconut milk and avocado based to last longer. Any suggestions?

Citric acid isn't a preservative. Essential oils aren't preservatives either. (Can we use essential oils as anti-microbials? No.) Glycerin definitely isn't a preservative, and honey isn't either. These are all anti-oxidants, meaning they retard rancidity of oils and butters. They will not do a thing for your products when it comes to contamination or beasties.

Any time we use water in a product, we need to use a well tested broad spectrum preservative in that product. Any time we use a water like ingredient in our products, like hydrosols, coconut milk, and so on, we need to use a well tested broad spectrum preservative in our product. If you don't use a preservative, your product has a shelf life of about three days in the fridge.

Have you tried this shampoo yet? I would caution you to make a small amount as this will be an alkaline product, and our hair doesn't tend to like cold process soap type shampoos like castille soap because of the alkaline pH.

Having said this, your product will have a pH of 8 or higher, and often times we hear we don't need preservatives in alkaline products. I'm not sure about this, and I would encourage you to use one that works in that pH, like liquid Germall Plus. 

I'm not sure if you are using avocado oil or an actual avocado, but I don't recommend using fresh fruit or veggies in our products. They are incredibly hard to preserve with the best of preservatives used at maximum amounts, and you're just asking for serious contamination! Use powdered extracts or hydrosols or other purified versions in your products instead.

So the quick answer is yes - you need to preserve this product with a well tested broad spectrum preservative. The long answer - well, you just read it!

I keep seeing avocado in hair conditioner recipes - What's the point of a fresh avocado that the avocado oil can't do? And just curious...what does the coconut milk do in the recipe that water can't do? Just wondering...


melian1 said...

i want to weigh in on this. i have a slightly different viewpoint than you, swift, re preservatives and the argument that it is good for 3 days on the counter and 7 in the fridge. you said: "If you don't use a preservative, your product has a shelf life of about three days out of the fridge, about seven in the fridge. I wouldn't take a chance on it longer than that"

i ask: would you set a glass of coconut milk on the counter in your kitchen and leave it for 3 days and then drink it? not many of us would! but, why would you (general you, not aimed at you in specific, swift) want to take that same germy mess and smear it on your face in the form of a cream? aside from the sheer nastiness of that, any tiny imperfection or break in the skin and that bacteria has got free entry into your skin and system and must be fought off by your body.

another thing i don't get is why folks think preservatives are harsh? using enough alcohol in a product to preserve it is harsh. using .3% - 1% of a tried and true preservative isn't. most preservatives, excluding the ones newly out that are trying to kill things without being toxic to humans while trying to be "natural" (and what is more natural than germs and bacteria?) are well tested and have the track record of decades behind them showing they are not harsh or harmful. anyone might be allergic to one or the other of them - i can't use germall plus. but that is true of everything in life. allergies exist.

one last thing before i end my rant here, ever wonder why women from a hundred years or more ago aged faster and looked older at 30 than we do at 60? they were limited to only "all natural" things to make products from and had no preservatives and so had to use that germy mess on their bodies and faces. no wonder they looked older than they should!

ok, end rant.

LeKenda said...

Hi my dear friend Swift (I have come to think of you as friend as I am always on your blog/ home).

To help answer your question on coconut milk- coconut milk is a naturalist's friend (those who typically shun all things chemical (or at least they try to). Its a good two for one ingredient- it contains protein and acts like a humectant. I like adding this to products for people who are not too fond of glycerin (I know about sodium pca, honey quat and the like but there is a certain commercial appeal to coconut milk) The fat content is also awesome for dry hair (at least for quite a few people I know) This is also great option for my vegan friends. Lastly you can go to local grocer and pick some up. I typically use the powdered version and add it to my products.