preservatives in homemade products

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Which preservatives do you recommend using in homemade products ? Something that will keep the product fresh for a few months.
What quantities are required ?

TIA

http://www.habanim.org/en/index_en.html
Preservatives are tricky, serious business. There are a lot of factors that influence how each of them works and how well each of them work -- everything from product pH, to polarity, to oil or water, to concentration. They're not one size fits all. As for the serious business part, well, preservative is a warm and fuzzy word for "biocide". Because that's what they do, kill organisms.

A preservative can be a valuable and beneficial part of a product, and not all of them are as scary as some fearmongers would have you believe. But if you (general you, not calling you out or anything) don't know what you're doing with them, they really shouldn't be messed with IMNSHO. At best if you mess up with one it won't be effective and you'll end up rubbing bacteria soup on yourself at some point. At worst...it would be less than healthy.

It might not be what you want to hear, but I'd advise not bothering with them if you don't already know a lot about them. Heck, Lush has fresh non-preserved products in store that it can't keep in stock, and will still only sell those locally straight out of the fridge. Nothing wrong with doing it like Lush.
2b-3a/F/iii color-treated and diffused, mod CG since February '07
I use vit. E & tea tree oil, I make small quanties too.
3c, fine, porous,MBL
Pre: EVCO Poo: GTTT DC:AO GPB, TJ Nourish Spa+EVOO
LI: Cantu Shea butter LI, YesToCarrots,(AVJ+H2O) Spritz
Style: AVG, Eco Seal: Qp Mango & Olive oil, Shea AloeMix
I use vit. E & tea tree oil, I make small quanties too.
Originally Posted by Curly_Jammy
Thank Curly_Jammy, how much of each do you put in a small quantity (about 100 grams), and how long does it keep the mixture in good condition ?

http://www.habanim.org/en/index_en.html
I'm truly not trying to rain on anybody's parade, but vitamin e isn't a preservative, it's an antioxidant. That means it slows the rancidity of oils. It doesn't do anything against bacteria. And in the small quantities someone would -- should -- make at home for personal use, it's kind of pointless and a waste of money to use. Unless you want it to make a butter or oil last longer, of course, or want the vitamin e for any physical effects on your skin or hair.

Tea tree oil might be good for the amount of bacteria that could be on skin or in a pimple, but in the kinds of amounts they'd be around in a product that's been sitting out, it's not strong enough for what you want. You can't increase the amount of tea tree to try to make it work on those amounts of bacteria, because essential oils are concentrated and they shouldn't be used in more than very tiny amounts. It's not effective for that.

Seriously, you're better off treating your concoctions like food. Make them in small enough batches that you can use them up in a few days, and then refrigerate until you can enjoy them. Or freeze them for later. Anyway, that's all I'll say on it. I don't want to beat a dead horse, I'm sure you get it. Good luck and happy mixing.
2b-3a/F/iii color-treated and diffused, mod CG since February '07
preservatives are really not that hard to use. I use optiphen and follow a recipe. It should only be used in amounts of .5 to 1.5% of your formula and when I make my lotion, I make about 20 oz at a time and preserve with a teaspoon of optiphen. I just can't make little batches, it makes no sense and I have no time to keep mixing stuff, so I make more and preserve. Makes sense, I also send some products to my family so I need to preserve them.

vitamin E is NOT a preservative but an antioxidant. It prevents oils from going rancid and adds beneficial nutrients to your products. BY NO MEANS will it prevent bacterial/fungal growth in products with water/aloe vera juice in them

yes, refrigeration is a good option, but only if you'll use it in a short while. I cannot refrigerate 20 oz of lotion and expect it to be good.

you can find great recipes here

makeyourowncosmetics.com

snowdriftfarm.com

and they will usually have an amount for preservative. You don't need to know everything there is to know about preservatives to use them, you just need to do a little homework. At snowdriftfarm.com, they have information on lotion making dos and don'ts and information about preservatives as well.
Jo Somebody and CurlsNCrass like this.
Thanks so much Coilynap, I will look for more info on the websites you recommended.

I totally agree. I don't have time to prepare small batches of cosmetics every week. I prefare to make larger quantities that will last a month or more.

Can you recommend some reliable websites to get optiphen and other homemade cosmetics ingredients online ?

http://www.habanim.org/en/index_en.html
I actually use GSE (grapeseed extract), citric acid, vit E and EO's in my flax gel....freeze part of it and what's left out sits in my bathroom till I use it up. My flax gel has lasted several months and never gone bad. I was considering trying other preservatives but won't right now since what I use works. HTH.
$5 off first order at iherb use code KEY066
I actually use GSE (grapeseed extract), citric acid, vit E and EO's in my flax gel....freeze part of it and what's left out sits in my bathroom till I use it up. My flax gel has lasted several months and never gone bad. I was considering trying other preservatives but won't right now since what I use works. HTH.
Originally Posted by curlykey
I hope you mean grapefruit seed extract!

I'm glad that is working for you. The addition of citric acid makes the combo stronger I think.
I actually use GSE (grapeseed extract), citric acid, vit E and EO's in my flax gel....freeze part of it and what's left out sits in my bathroom till I use it up. My flax gel has lasted several months and never gone bad. I was considering trying other preservatives but won't right now since what I use works. HTH.
Originally Posted by curlykey
I hope you mean grapefruit seed extract!

I'm glad that is working for you. The addition of citric acid makes the combo stronger I think.
Originally Posted by coilynapp

Oh, my bad . Yes I mean grapefruit seed extract. Thanks.
$5 off first order at iherb use code KEY066
i use optiphen I purchased from Snowdrift farms
i know this is old, but i'm bumping anyway.

lots of good info in this thread. nice to see some people who are knowledgeable about preservatives.

optiphen is a good one. i use phenonip if my formulation is oil-based or contains water and oils. if it's water-based, i used liquid germall plus. i purchase from http://www.lotioncrafter.com/
--Tiffany--
*Reformed PJ*
3c/4a - coarse and super thick, APL when curly, somewhere around WL when stretched
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Last Relaxer - January 30, 1999
BC - March 21, 2000

Currently using: AO HSR & GPB conditioners, Vatika Oil, SheaMoisture, homemade African Black Soap shampoo & hair lotion.
Hmm. If I were to use citric acid by itself, would that be a proper way to preserve a product? It would be something water-based with aloe juice, and maybe a very tiny amount of EOs mixed in...
Ξ 4a/3c Ξ Normal porosity Ξ High density Ξ Medium-Coarse Ξ
citric acid is a pH stabilizer not a preservative. your aloe juice will go bad
You're so knowledgeable, like Papa Smurf ! Sorry, I just woke from a nap so I'm a bit silly at the moment. Anyway, thanks for the tip! I'll look into it more because I thought it was commonly used as a preservative. Maybe I'll use it to tweak the pH of my concoctions if they're not to my liking. Thanks again!
Ξ 4a/3c Ξ Normal porosity Ξ High density Ξ Medium-Coarse Ξ
we are all here to learn absolutely no need to apologize
I just experimented with my first small batch of FSG a couple days ago following the basic recipe and I like what it does for my hair. So I went out and bought a bottle of grapefruit seed extract since I'm usually pretty neurotic about things spoiling, even in the fridge.

But when would you put the GSE in?... during boiling or after? I can't seem to find a thread that addresses this.

TIA!!....
CG'er since June '10 from humid Central FL

Brunette 2/m/ii-iii/high porosity/PS/frizz prone
Low-poo: DevaCurl
Co-wash/LI: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture
RO: Yes To Carrots
Stylers: homemade salt spray, HESMU gel & spray gel, SIF and sometimes fsg if I've made it


Cut 10 ins off on 7/16/10 and donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths in honor of my dad
There's also quite a few books on preservatives, and making your own cosmetics,
some of them are:
Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry
Cosmetic Formulation of Skin Care Products
Preservative for Cosmetics
Preservative-free self preserving cosmetics
Rosemary Gladstar's Herbs for Natural Beauty
Herbal Home Spa

Some of these books get a little expensive, but they are full on knowledge when it comes to natural preservatives. BTW there are plenty essential oils with antifungal, antibacteria factors, but they do not call them preservatives because they are not broad spectrum preservatives. check out www.moutainroseherbs.com there is plenty information about the properties and benefits of essential oil. I hope this was a helpful tip. Also you can experiement in the kitchen with mixing carrier oil and essential oils in your homemade products, sometimes by mixing oils you can preserve your homemade products longer. Just do your research so you can gain your own knowledge about natural preservatives and whatever works best for you.
steppslady likes this.






Still loving my curls and kinks!
Products I love:
Ion Dandruff/Seborrheic Dermatitis Tar Shampoo
Suave Shea Butter Conditioner
Biolage Scalp Therapy Shampoo
Biolage Fortify Therapy Shampoo
Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner
Shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, apricot oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus oil

Last edited by Amazinnatural; 07-19-2010 at 04:07 AM. Reason: mispelled web address
Here are some essential oils and extracts with preserving factors:
Sage EO
Tea Tree EO
Rosemary EO
Aspen Bark extract
Willow Bark extract
Grapefruit Seed extract
Eucalyptus EO
Ylang Ylang EO
Lactoperoxidase (which is a natural preservative found in some all-natural products-Burt Bees and Just natural skin care products "that's the name of the brand")
Hope this was helpful
steppslady likes this.






Still loving my curls and kinks!
Products I love:
Ion Dandruff/Seborrheic Dermatitis Tar Shampoo
Suave Shea Butter Conditioner
Biolage Scalp Therapy Shampoo
Biolage Fortify Therapy Shampoo
Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner
Shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, apricot oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus oil

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