CurlTalk

preservatives in homemade products

taltaltaltal Posts: 614Registered Users
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

Comments

  • Wicked_WavesWicked_Waves Posts: 38Registered Users
    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
  • Curly_JammyCurly_Jammy Posts: 626Registered Users
    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
  • taltaltaltal Posts: 614Registered Users
    I use vit. E & tea tree oil, I make small quanties too.

    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 ?
  • Wicked_WavesWicked_Waves Posts: 38Registered Users
    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
  • coilynappcoilynapp Posts: 4,233Registered Users
    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.
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  • taltaltaltal Posts: 614Registered Users
    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 ?
  • curlykeycurlykey Posts: 1,540Registered Users
    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
  • coilynappcoilynapp Posts: 4,233Registered Users
    curlykey wrote: »
    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.
    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.
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  • curlykeycurlykey Posts: 1,540Registered Users
    coilynapp wrote: »
    curlykey wrote: »
    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.
    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.


    Oh, my bad :goofy:. Yes I mean grapefruit seed extract. Thanks.
    $5 off first order at iherb use code KEY066
  • msjaimmsjaim Posts: 948Registered Users
    i use optiphen I purchased from Snowdrift farms
  • sunshowersunshower Posts: 229Registered Users
    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 /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lotioncrafter.com%2F" class="Popup
    --Tiffany--
    *Reformed PJ*
    3c/4a - coarse and super thick, APL when curly, somewhere around WL when stretched
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fhokukoroku%2F" class="Popup - i never update. shame on me :(

    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.
  • CheveuxSauvageCheveuxSauvage Posts: 240Registered Users
    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...
    [FONT=&quot]Ξ [/FONT]4a/3c [FONT=&quot]Ξ [/FONT]Normal porosity [FONT=&quot]Ξ [/FONT]High density [FONT=&quot]Ξ[/FONT] Medium-Coarse [FONT=&quot]Ξ[/FONT]
  • coilynappcoilynapp Posts: 4,233Registered Users
    citric acid is a pH stabilizer not a preservative. your aloe juice will go bad
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  • CheveuxSauvageCheveuxSauvage Posts: 240Registered Users
    You're so knowledgeable, like Papa Smurf :bigsmurf:! 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!
    [FONT=&quot]Ξ [/FONT]4a/3c [FONT=&quot]Ξ [/FONT]Normal porosity [FONT=&quot]Ξ [/FONT]High density [FONT=&quot]Ξ[/FONT] Medium-Coarse [FONT=&quot]Ξ[/FONT]
  • coilynappcoilynapp Posts: 4,233Registered Users
    we are all here to learn :) absolutely no need to apologize
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  • ColoradoDreaminColoradoDreamin Posts: 11Registered Users
    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 :icon_smile:
  • AmazinnaturalAmazinnatural Posts: 755Registered Users
    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.



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    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
  • AmazinnaturalAmazinnatural Posts: 755Registered Users
    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



    event.png


    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
  • coilynappcoilynapp Posts: 4,233Registered Users
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

    EOs are NOT preservatives. They may have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, but usage rates in products are so low, that they CANNOT exhibit any of these properties enough to actually be preservatives.

    GSE is also not a preservative. It is an anti-oxidant. And unless you can get a guarantee from your supplier that there are no synthetic ingredients, most GSE contains a synthetic preservative (to preserve it) and this is not enough to preserve your formulation if it has water in it

    Aspen and Willow bark extracts are emerging preservatives, but not much is known about their efficacy. If you do use them, make sure to get your stuff tested to know the right amount to use for your products
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  • AmazinnaturalAmazinnatural Posts: 755Registered Users
    Ok, I did not say that EO's are preservatives, what I said was that EO's have preserving factors, there is a difference. Now there are ways to naturally preserve homemade hair products, but that cause for a lot of experimenting and testing. Most homemade products that are water-based do not preserve well, so if you don't want to waste time trying to figure out what will and what wont preserve your product, buy synthetic preservatives. Even though your product will not be 100% natural as you hoped, it will be nicely preserved and you will not have to worry about microorganisms, fungas, bacteria etc. Like I said before do your own research, readings, and studies on natural preservative or preservatives in general. There's tones of books and websites that can inform you on preservatives. I understand that most people want to go as natural as possible, sometimes it can be done and sometimes it cannot. But know your material! You will feel a lot better if you find out what works for you own your own. Maybe you may find a way to preserve your products the "ALL NATURAL WAY"! Thanks for listening! YEP!;-)



    event.png


    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
  • AmazinnaturalAmazinnatural Posts: 755Registered Users
    coilynapp wrote: »
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

    EOs are NOT preservatives. They may have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, but usage rates in products are so low, that they CANNOT exhibit any of these properties enough to actually be preservatives.

    GSE is also not a preservative. It is an anti-oxidant. And unless you can get a guarantee from your supplier that there are no synthetic ingredients, most GSE contains a synthetic preservative (to preserve it) and this is not enough to preserve your formulation if it has water in it

    Aspen and Willow bark extracts are emerging preservatives, but not much is known about their efficacy. If you do use them, make sure to get your stuff tested to know the right amount to use for your products

    Thanks for the insight! I'm going to definitely continue to experiment and see what works for me. BTW what preservatives do you use in your products? Do you blend your preservative or only use one particular preservative? This is something that I am very interested in so let me know, THANKS!



    event.png


    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
  • coilynappcoilynapp Posts: 4,233Registered Users
    Trying to have at least a mostly accurate info for people on here. There are websites that do say EOs are preservatives. In fact even some sellers of EOs purport their effectiveness as preservatives. So when someone reads something like preservative factors on here and then looks for "EOs as preservatives" and finds that they may think they can use them as preservatives. The truth is that EOs don't have preservative factors at all, but antifungal, antibacterial properties and for these to be effective in a product, you will have to use them at dangerous levels, which will cause skin irritation and even then, they will be mildly effective in water based products
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  • Auntie BubbsAuntie Bubbs Posts: 1,068Registered Users
    Snowdrift Farms is closing/closed.
    Any other options for buying preservatives (ie., Optiphen)? I need to get some asap. thanks!
    That's me with FSG as my styler!!

    3b. fine & thick, coarse, dry, medium porosity. Sucks up product and loves ACVs! FSG is my HG!

    Currently using:
    Low Poo: TJ's Refresh No Poo: CoWash w/VO-5; Sonoma Soap Company sulfate-free poo
    RO: Yes to Cuc; SSC Lavender Condish; Sally GVP LI: Donna Marie Miracle D&C
    Style: FSG w/Aussie Instant Freeze & CIAB
  • coilynappcoilynapp Posts: 4,233Registered Users
    lotioncrafter
    th?id=H.4940802350254088&pid=1.7&w=183&h=144&c=7&rs=1
  • curly_in_calicurly_in_cali Posts: 1Registered Users
    This is a very interesting thread. I learned a lot. Thanks ladies!

    I'm trying to make a recipe that calls for glycerin, oils and meal (almond seed), flour (oat kernel) and powders (orange peel, pecan shell, nutmeg fruit, clove floweer). I will be making all of these with organics products. Except for the glycerin, I don't want to mess around with lye so I'll buy that already made.

    The recipe calls for GSE, rosemary extract and tocopherol, which are all, I'm assuming, to keep the oil from getting rancid. I'm concerned about the tocopherol. I know Vitamin E has to be made in a lab so I was wondering if I could replace the Vit. E with something that has a high content of it like Avocado oil?

    Also, since there is no water in the recipe, do I really need the tocopherol as a preservative? I will be making small batches and keeping only a little bit of it out which I'll replenish with what I'll be putting in the freezer.

    Any feedback, comments, suggestions, etc would be greatly appreciated!
  • curlygoinggraycurlygoinggray Posts: 69Registered Users
    Are Ascorbic Acid (Pure Vitamin C) and Citric Acid preservatives?

    Also, I bought some Unflavored Gelatin (Pork) for doing a Gelatin Treatment, which I've never done and could use a link for a "Good" recipe and instructions how to do the treatment.

    When I bought the Unflavored Gelatin (Pork), they also had Unflavored Gelatin (Beef). The pork was cheaper at $11.05/lb. Did it matter if I bought the Pork or the Beef?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    DevaCurl NoPoo, One Condition & AnGel
    Occasionally: KCCC, KCKT & KCCC
    Last Dye 1/4/12
    Started Curlygirl Method 6/2012
    Final cut to remove dye 3/30/13
    Avi & Sig Pics 1/18/16
  • Firefox7275Firefox7275 Posts: 3,750Registered Users
    Are Ascorbic Acid (Pure Vitamin C) and Citric Acid preservatives?

    Also, I bought some Unflavored Gelatin (Pork) for doing a Gelatin Treatment, which I've never done and could use a link for a "Good" recipe and instructions how to do the treatment.

    When I bought the Unflavored Gelatin (Pork), they also had Unflavored Gelatin (Beef). The pork was cheaper at $11.05/lb. Did it matter if I bought the Pork or the Beef?

    Ascorbic acid is an antioxidant and is unstable in solution (degrades quickly), it doesn't really protect from microbial attack unless it's pretty concentrated (so pretty acidic). Citric acid can be used as a weak preservative in combination with other compounds with preservative properties for broad spectrum coverage.

    Science-y Hair Blog: Recipes and Projects
    Science-y Hair Blog: Search results for preservatives
    2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

    CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
    Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
    Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
    Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
    Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
    Experimenting with: benign neglect
  • steppsladysteppslady Posts: 1Registered Users
    This information was so helpful! Thanks for sharing these sources :)
  • luisalanluisalan Posts: 4Registered Users
    Thanks for sharing .