- Natural Preservatives Part 1( What exactly do I need to Preserve?)
- Natural Preservatives Part 2 ( Antioxidant Examples and descriptions)
- Natural Preservatives Part 3 (Anti-Microbial Examples and descriptions)
- Non-Natural Preservative Options
I have been researching preservatives for awhile now and although I have not been able to completely figure it out (it is so imprecise, I just want something to say, This will work....).
Anyhoo, this is what I have learned so far:
First, there are two different types of things natural cosmetics need to be protected from, oxidation (shelf life) and microbial growths.
Antioxidants: reduces the rate of oxidation in oils. Oxidation occurs when natural oils and ingredients are exposed to oxygen, thus causing the oil/natural ingredients to degrade and/or spoil. Anti-oxidants can be added directly to your oils or during the oil phase of your oil-water based recipes.
- Fragile oils Examples: almond, hempseed , avocado, flax or evening primrose.
Antimicrobial: destroys and prevents the growth of dangerous micro-organisms like bacteria, yeast, mold, and fungus in your natural cosmetics.
- All microbial growths are not visible to the naked eye, so just because there isn't an odd growth showing up in your products, does not mean that they are not present.
- These occur during daily usage of products; hands in and out of jars, warm moist bathrooms, etc
- Water based products are a breeding ground for microbial growths
Also, when deciding upon your chosen preservation blend, understand that depending upon your formulation certain mixes/preservatives will not work or lose their efficacy( some mess about chemistry, PH levels, etc). The downside to this is the only way to truly know if your mixes are being preserved correctly is to have them tested by experienced chemist.
Sources & Interesting Articles
From Nature With Love
Natural Preservatives for Cosmetic Recipes
Texas Natural Supply
Handling Diluted and Homemade Products
Disclaimer: These posts are just the result of my research. I make no claims on know all the answers or the best answers to your questions. Use These posts as reference and do your own research.