What preservative to use?

theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
Hello All,

I have been making my own products for sometime now. (soap, haircare, scrubs, ect). But I made it in small batches so i never used preservatives. Now i don't have time for this and want to begin making larger batches. What preservatives should i use? What is the best and where do i get it?

Thank You


  • CeriCeri Posts: 142Registered Users
    Well, if you don't want to keep making small batches, you can always make one large batch and freeze it in 1-2 week portions. That way you can still stay away from preservatives.

    Preservatives need to be treated with respect, and you really need to learn how to use them properly. That being said, I like to use Liquid Germall Plus. It doesn't contain parabens, and is pretty cost effective. It should be used at 0.1-0.5% of your total formula and added after everything has cooled down to below 110 degrees F. What this means is if you want to use a "real preservative"( Vitamin E, Citric Acid, & GSE aren't) you need to invest in proper equipment. A good scale to weigh the ingredients so you can figure out how many grams 0.1-0.5% will be, and a thermometer to know when its cool enough to be added.

    Also, when using preservatives, everything needs to be as clean as possible. The preservatives only keep things from growing once it's been added. They can't kill nasty stuff in there already! Using distilled water is a must! So is sanitizing all equipment being used to make your gel.



    These are good sites. MMS is my favorite, it has lots of nice fragrance oils and carrier oils to add to your FSG too!

    Good luck! HTH
    3a/3b Medium Texture & Normal Porosity
    Modified CG since November 2009
    Low Poo - (Once in a while) True Polaris Solid Shampoo Bar
    CO-wash/Condish - (I'm lazy, one step only!) True Polaris Solid Conditioner Bars
    Styling - True Polaris Truly Curly Styling Gel I add 'cones in summer Truly Frizz Free Hair Serum
    I plop and defuse daily

    c_band2.gif I love MUSE
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    OH wow! thanks lots. Maybe i'll try freezing first. I'll check out the links. Thanks again
  • earthtones naturalsearthtones naturals Posts: 40Registered Users
    thelio wrote: »
    OH wow! thanks lots. Maybe i'll try freezing first. I'll check out the links. Thanks again

    I second Ceri's response. I've been making my own products for a while now and any water-based product absolutely needs a preservative. Even if you are making them for yourself, they still need to be properly preserved so I don't recommend freezing. Making products is really about chemistry and if you're freezing your products then it could be messing up some of the bonds that were created during your manufacturing process and could result in unstable emulsions for your creams, for example.

    I also use Liquid Germall plus which is a broad spectrum preservative. It's used at an extremely low percentage in the cooling down phase of your formulating process. The issue some may have it that it is a formaldehyde releaser but if that doesn't sit well with you there are other preservatives such as Otiphen and Otiphen Plus. However you'll need to do your research to know the best uses for all of these preservatives. Echoing Ceri, grapeseed extract IS NOT a preservative and shouldn't be used as one. Hopefully this helps!
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    thanks for the info. very helpful

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