Saturday, November 13, 2010
Product Safety, Lip Balm and Lotion
The reason this came into my head today, is there was an item in the etsy finds e-mail that was awesome, so I visited the shop. In the shop was a lotion that proudly proclaimed that it was "preservative free". Which is okay for a body butter of pure oils, but this one contained aloe vera gel. Which is mostly water. If your formulation contains any milk, water, or botanical juices, it is perishable. It can grow bacteria or fungi, which can cause serious skin problems. The only ways to prevent the growth of nasties in a water bearing emulsion are refrigeration and preservatives. I love all natural products, but a good broad spectrum preservative is the only safe way to go if you're selling lotions or creams. I personally use germall plus, which is effective in lotions and creams at 0.1% - 0.5%. That's just a tenth to a half of an ounce in a 100 ounce recipe (one and 1/2 pounds!). Most chemical preservatives have similar usage rates, so an 8 oz. bottle will last a long, long time. I'm comfortable with 99.5% natural, if it means saving someone or myself a nasty skin infection. To make lotion at home for your own use, the refrigerator is fine. And it's as easy as making mayonaise. It's kind of exactly the same.