Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Natural Preservatives Part 3 (Anti-Microbial Examples and descriptions)

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

Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is a citrus seed based anti-microbial used as a preservative in skin care products. Use GSE at .5 to 1% to preserve most formulations, or use at 2% to create anti-bacterial creams, salves, rinses and soaps.  ( This is a controversial ingredient, some argue that GSE itself is not a preservative, but the synthetic preservative used to preserve GSE itself is actually what assist with product preservation)

Benzoin Resin
found in facial toning and facial oil recipes to improve  shelf life.

Potassium Sorbate (USP)
In water potassium sorbate releases sorbic acid which is the active agent. It is a very effective preservative active against molds, yeast and aerophile bacteria in a wide pH range of 2-6.5 and for extended periods of time.

common ingredient that used to be found on the laundry shelf of most grocery stores. It is a natural cleaner and preservative, and it often found in lotion, cream, bath salt and bath scrub recipes.  Also used to aid in emulsification process.

Raw Honey
discourages growth because of low water content and acidity

Neem Oil

Jojoba Oil
similar to honey, add to fragile oils to improve shelf life.

Essential Oils ( In order to truly be anti-microbials they would have to be used in large quantities, which would irritate our skin)
  • Caraway
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Cumin
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender,
  • Lemon
  • Oregano
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Sandalwood
  • Thyme
Liquid Germall Plus ( Paraben Free)
Liquid Germall Plus is a broad spectrum, water soluble preservative for oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions and water soluble formulations. It is highly effective against gram positive and gram negative bacteria, yeasts, molds and commonly found organisms. It is compatible with most cosmetic ingredients and has no known inactivators. Liquid Germall Plus is effective at low concentrations of 0.1 - 0.5% (the higher % should be used in conjunction with high protein and complex formulations). It remains active through a pH range of 3-8. It should be added during the water phase or to the emulsified portion of the formulation at a temperpature of 120F or less. Liquid Germall Plus has a safe toxicology profile and has been evaluated as safe for both rinse-off and leave-on formulations. It is a good choice preservative for shampoos, conditioners, lotions, creams, body washes, body sprays and other such formulas.

Sources & Interesting Articles

The Hebarie
From Nature With Love
Natural Preservatives for Cosmetic Recipes
Texas Natural Supply
Myth or Fact- Parabens & Cancer by Natural Haven
The Beauty Brains
Handling Diluted and Homemade Products


Disclamier:  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.


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