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On Preservatives

If you have read my story, you will know that the paraben preservative is a major allergen for me, and discovering Optiphen Plus as a preservative that didn’t irritate my skin was such a game changer. I used to never try any scented lotion given to me as a gift fo fear of causing a major reaction, and I have tried several unscented ones to which I reacted. I did try another non-paraben preservative that also caused me rashes and itching, that’s why for now I only trust Optiphen plus among the non-natural preservatives.

However, since a coworker once told me she used the lotion she bought from me on her face and then asked me afterwards if it was okay, I had been trying some of the natural preservatives when I first formulated my face cream. I also learned that the more “bug food” I had in my formula (like milk or extracts or teas), I would have to up my preservative percentage. As I said in My Story, essential oils, vitamin E, and rosemary oleoresin extract are NOT preservatives, but rather additives that enhance the products or act as antioxidant that prevents the lotion or cream from getting rancid too quickly.

Below is my experiment that I did back in 2014 where I tested Leucidal® Liquid (Lactobacillus ferment) as my natural preservative. Variations were from the addition of EOs and/or extracts (additives). I had a control with just the base; no preservatives/additives).

This photo was taken three days after making the face cream, with me “using” the cream (dipping my finger into them) and keeping them at room temperature just like I would with a non-experimental, properly prepared face cream. In just three days, the non-preserved cream showed mold growth it was really icky. Can you imagine what non-visible bacteria were also thriving in it?

So the natural preservative passed my crude experiment. I am currently trying another natural preservative called NataPresTM which is so far doing good (going on for a month now; placed in an airless pump to minimize contamination). To test next will be AMTicide® Coconut. I am hoping that someday, I will be able to afford a preservative challenge testing at a laboratory. Until I have a certification of my face creams with natural preservatives passing a PCT, I won’t get into selling them yet.

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