Sunday, June 4, 2017

Weekend Wonderings: Adding preservatives to aloe vera? Using vinegar in toners?

I'm so far behind on comments - I think I might be in mid-April at this point - and I'm trying my best to answer the best I can. I'll be posting quite a few on the blog over the next little while as I answer them in the order in which they were written, so watch this space!

In this post, Fun with formulating: Making toners, LubLub asks: A couple quick questions... 

1. I read somewhere that aloe vera juice cannot be preserved.. Regardless preservative, it'll go rancid, do you know if this is true? And if it isn't, do you know if rice water (organic rice booked in distilled water) used in the toner would preserve just as well with liquid germall plus?? 

2. Have you ever used organic raw spoke cider vinegar in your toner in small amounts? It's great for acne prone skin, so what's your thoughts?? 

A quick lesson, if you'll indulge me. Rancidity is about the oxidation of oils, which is why we add anti-oxidants to our products that contain oils. Aloe vera juice is water soluble, therefore we aren't worried about it going rancid. We will worry about it being contaminated by things like bacteria, yeast, and mold, so we need to have a preservative. When I get it from my suppliers, it contains preservatives, so I don't need to add any to the bottle. If you get it from somewhere like Wal-Mart and it proudly proclaims "NO PRESERVATIVES", get a good broad spectrum preservative like liquid Germall Plus used at the maximum amount in there the moment you open it. (Yep, I learned this one the hard way!)

So the quick answer to your first question is that aloe vera can't go rancid, but it can be contaminated if not preserved. Get a good preservative in there, and you'll be fine!

Related posts:
How do anti-oxidants affect shelf life of our products?

To answer the second part of your first question, I'm afraid I can't answer that without knowing what this ingredient might be and how much you're using in a toner. If you're making your own rice milk, I would suggest that you don't as these kinds of things are super hard to preserve, much like making your own infusions or teas to add to products. If you want to use something you've made, consider that it has a shelf life of maybe a few days in the fridge. If you want to use something like a rice milk or rice extract, consider getting one from a supplier

Related posts:
Infusions, teas, and using vinegar as a preservative

As an aside, I'm noticing quite the trend of using mushed up tea leaves in our recipes, which is not only kinda gross sounding - do you want bits of leaves on your arms or face? - but also incredibly hard to preserve. Please don't do this! 

Related post:
Is it a good recipe? David's Teas' recipes with tea 

To look at your second question, I'm afraid I don't know what raw spoke cider vinegar is, but I wonder if that wasn't an auto-correct mistake for "apple"? If it is, then no, I've never used it as I don't like the smell and I don't want it on my face. It's an acidic ingredient, so it might be a good inclusion, but I would want to see some science that backs up its usage before I suggest it. (I'm putting this on the ever growing list of things to research.) 


Lisa H said...

Since you were speaking about preservatives today, I just ran across this on another site about preservatives in anhydrous scrubs. Thoughts? I thought Optiphen was our limited choice in oil scrubs. But is this a better way?

If water may be introduced to the product or the product used in a humid bathroom then a preservative is advisable. An expert microbiologist advises that if trying to preserve an anhydrous product (including all oil+sugar/salt scrub) the oil soluble preservative will get locked in the oils so will not reach any water, if water was introduced into the product. So if you added an oil soluble preservative then that preservative will stay in the oils and not move over to where the water is located to protect that water against bacteria and mould so would be useless. So contrary to what you may have read, we should really use a water soluble preservative in an anhydrous product which means we’d need to add an emulsifier to get that preservative mixed in properly with the oils.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lisa! I've addressed this quite a few times on the blog, including this post, which you can find in the preservatives section.

Lisa H said...

Thank you! So sorry. I try to research on the blog before I ask! I didnt do a very good job this time!