Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekend Wonderings: Do we need to add a preservative if we add e-wax to a lotion bar? Is it safe to use refined oils in our products?

In the Weekend Wonderings: Have a question? post, Rosi asks: In a lotion bar we do not have to add preservative, is it still the same if I substitute some of the wax with ewax, cetyl or BTMS still without water, of course. Because I did substitute some of the beeswax for some ewax and I liked it very much, just don't know if I need preservative.

Nope, no preservative required unless you plan to use this lotion bar in the shower or tub. E-wax, cetyl alcohol, and BTMS are oil soluble ingredients, so they don't need to be preserved in any way.

In this post, I'd love to hear from you!, Sarah asks: I have been using refined oils in my lotions (for both face and body) and I had no problems with them, they work pretty good for me. I came across an article though that said refined oils are not good for lotion making. Is this information correct? I used pure but refined olive oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil. Are they safe to use? I also make myself a grapeseed oil sugar scrub and it has worked so well for me, even if is refined. What are your thoughts on the safety of using refined oils in such products?

What does it mean if an oil is refined? It means that the oil has gone through a process that removes odours, impurities, waxes or esters, and other unstable compounds, and it might add anti-oxidants like BHT. The intention is to create a more uniform product that will have a longer shelf life. With this information, it seems strange to think that using a refined oil - an oil with things removed - would be unsafe for someone. In fact, my thought would be that it would be safer to use an oil that has things removed because it's less likely to go rancid in a short period of time or have unstable things in it.

I've never heard this idea before, and I can't find studies or articles that say it is or is not a bad idea to use refined oils in our products. In fact, in all my years of making lotions, participating in forums, talking to other formulators, and doing my research, I have never seen this idea put forth. Our suppliers sell all kinds of wonderful refined oils that are approved as cosmetic grade. I've seen what I think might be thousands of successful lotions in my workshop, in classes, and on line using refined oils. I think when I put all these things together, all I can say that I cannot think of a reason to say that it's unsafe or unstable to use refined oils in our lotions.

BTW: Can you send me a link to the article? I think it's a very strange position to take, and I wonder about the motivation of the writer. Do they work for a company that sells unrefined oils or a product that contains it?

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating!

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