In this post, McKenzie asks: I hadn't looked at many fruit extracts for my recipes before, but was recently intrigued by banana extract and a few other powdered yellow extracts that were described as pale yellow creamy powders by my supplier. The creamy texture and color with the obvious gaggle of benefits of each made me curious about mixing several together with a small percentage of opacifying agents etc, to make a face powder or the like to have a creamy, good-for-you color cosmetic. In the case of banana extract which is so moisturizing, that would even sound nice in theory applied neat to the undereyes!
My problem comes with the usage rates. Many do say not to exceed 0.5-5% final product, but they also usually call for it being a tincture first, so I'm not sure if this is a seperate usage rate from the rest. My questions are then:
1. Is it safe to use something like this applied directly to the skin, or in rates far above the usage rate? Or are the any avenues to research/how to know if the manufacturer's suggestion can be exceeded if it is not noted in the data sheet?
2. Would combining multiple extracts up to the level of their usage rates be harmful? For ex., if I combine 4 extracts that can be up to 5% in final formulation and the mixture comprises 20% of the final product, will so many active ingredients be troublesome even though their individual maximums were not exceeded? Particularly for cases were fruit enzymes and natural acids are present.
First off, I have never used a powder that calls for being turned into a tincture first. That would annoy me something silly and I wouldn't use them, so I can't speak to that. I get my powdered extracts from Voyageur Soap & Candle, and I just dissolve them in a little warm water before combining them in my products.
allantoin in my face powders because I've read it may be able to protect from cold and wind chapping, two things I get a lot this time of year. But will banana extract work well in a powdered format? I'm not really sure.
I wouldn't use extracts above the suggested usage rate. They are suggested for usage at these rates for a reason. For some, it's because they have exfoliating properties and too much is not a good thing. For others, it's because they aren't soluble over certain levels and you'll end up with clumps or precipitation. Always check with your supplier and ask if they have data bulletins you can read. There are many different manufacturers of powdered extracts, so don't assume what you read about one version works with another one. Ask for all the help you can get from your supplier so you can make good choices.
As an aside, Cosmetics Info has loads of great information on how to use ingredients safely!
papaya and pineapple, you might see some sensitivity. Knowing what each extract bring to the party means you can make good and healthy choices about your ingredients.
Having said this, you can exceed the suggested solubility rate easily, meaning that you'll see some precipitation in your products, like you see in this picture. I used the suggested amount of each one, but together they exceeded what the toner could handle.
I encourage you to check out this post on combining extracts, and hit "newer post" at the bottom of the comments section to see some examples of this process.
As a note, more doesn't necessarily mean better. Most of our extracts are used in small amounts because that's all that's necessary. We don't necessarily get better results using 2% rosemary extract than we would with 0.5%. Again, knowing your ingredients and what each brings to the mix is the way to decide on what you'd like to use.
Related posts: Extracts section of the blog