Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Point of Interest: Preservatives!

I'm so happy when I hear people want to use preservatives, but a few questions have been posed to me lately that I thought required a blog post. Preservatives are ingredients we add to our products that contain water soluble ingredients or will be exposed to water. They prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, yeast, and fungus. (Click here for more information...) Without a good broad spectrum preservative - one that works for all kinds of ick! - your product has a shelf life of 3 to 7 days.

Polysorbate 20 is not a preservative: It's a solubilizer that will help you incorporate small amounts of fragrance or essential oil into your product.

Propylene glycol isn't a preservative: It's a humectant that draws water from the atmosphere to our skin. It acts as an anti-freeze, reducing the freezing point of water and water soluble things in our products, making it easier to ship things in cold weather.

Stearic acid isn't a preservative. It's a fatty acid that we find in our oils and butters that makes them thicker, as well as a thickener we can add to our lotions.

Preservatives are ingredients like liquid Germall Plus - INCI: Propylene glycol, diazolidinyl urea, and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate - or Germaben II - INCI: Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben - or Phenonip - INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Methylparaben (and) Ethylparaben (and) Butylparaben (and) Propylparaben (and) Isobutylparaben - or Optiphen ND - INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Benzoic Acid (and) Dehydroacetic Acid - and so on.

If you'd like to learn more about preservatives, I encourage you to check out the section of this blog on that topic, or check out the comparison chart if you want some quick information. It's a fascinating topic, and one that will keep your products safe and effective!

Related topics:
Why do we need preservatives in products containing water?
Preservatives: How the heck do they work?
What you need to know about making products (part one)
What you need to know about making products (part two)
Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant, not a preservative
Packaging and preservation

1 comment:

Jessica McIntosh said...

Susan,

I remember reading that Liquid Germal Plus is not to be used in aerosol containers.... is taht just Aerosol or any spray bottle?