Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Preservatives you might not know about...

I thought I'd write a quick post on this topic because I get a lot of questions about preservatives. Almost all of our liquid ingredients will contain a preservative of some kind, especially if they contain water. I haven't met a surfactant yet that didn't contain a preservative, and you generally need to read the data sheet to find out which one. Most of our hydrosols and aloe vera contain preservatives - it's normally a selling point to note it's "preservative free" and you should see that in big letters on the container or web listing for the supplier. If you're in doubt and it concerns you that there might be preservatives in your liquid products, write to your supplier and ask.

I think preservatives in our liquid ingredients are of the good. I bought a container of unpreserved aloe vera and within a two weeks it was growing this horrible brown stuff at the bottom and I had to throw it away. Fortunately I didn't get any on my skin, and if I wasn't a big fan of preservatives prior to this, you know I was afterwards! I know I've told this story too many times, so this will be the last re-telling of the horrible Aloe Vera of Brown Ickiness and Doom, I promise! 

Our liquid cosmeceuticals also contain preservatives. I was looking into Pepha-Tight, and the data sheet notes it contains phenoxyethanol, benzoic acid, and sorbic acid at 0.1% to 1% each. So check the INCI, data sheet, and supplier information if this is a concern to you.


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

If our ingredients contain various types of preservatives then how do we know which preservative to add to our final product and know that the percentage of that preservative is correct? Could we possibly be padding too much preservative given that so many of our ingredients already have a preservative?

Tara said...

I know you shop at Voyageur, and as well do I. Are their surfactants and hydrosols preserved? They don't offer as much information up front like some some other places do (such as The Herbarie and Lotioncrafter).

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tara. I shop at Voyageur and yes, all of their hydrosols and surfactants contain preservatives. Most of the ingredients get these things at the factory, so the supplier isn't responsible for including preservatives.

Hi Anonymous. Good question, but no, we don't have to think about that when we're formulating. They aren't using the preservatives at the maximum levels, so we aren't getting too much preservative when we're using these ingredients.

Will said...

Totally unrelated, how did your March 3rd sushi session go? Did you take photos you can post?

I LOVE LOVE LOVE sushi. I'm somewhat competent making it -- on a good day. It's probably the only food I will actually crave, and nothing else will satisfy the craving.

Might be time for a sushi blog entry!

Thanks, Will

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Will. Yep, I took pictures and I plan to write about it tomorrow (I'm so pressed for time this morning). We made kappa maki, a California cone, and candy sushi. It was great fun and I was so full of rice and cucumber and other good things last night. (If the kids thought their rolls looked ugly, they made new ones. So I ate the non-pretty rolls. Hey, they still taste good!)

Will said...

I totally get it.

I love making sushi, especially if we're having company. Why? Of course if you're making more, you have the likelihood of more ugly ones, which means more that have to be consumed before the company arrives.

I'm a subspecies of glutton -- a sushi glutton.