Monday, January 12, 2009

Lotion Safety

I just added my new lotions to my site. I added a blurb about the preservative I used in them, does it look ok?

A lot of people are concerned about using chemical preservatives in lotions, most would like products that do not contain them. The truth is though, as natural as I would like to be, I think sometimes chemicals are important. I have tried creating lotions without preservatives, and the results were less than fantastic. One batch I created using simply larger amounts of vitamin E and C. Within days there was visible bacteria growth. Then I created a batch using an exclusive natural preservative blend--essential oils of clove, lemon, orange, tea tree oil and more, plus vitamins E, C, grapefruit seed extract, and honey. All of which are known for their antibacterial qualities. It worked! Days, weeks, even months later and no bacterial growth. However, the downside is that the essential oil blend I used has a very distinct smell. The quantity that I have to use is so strong, that you can not cover it up with another fragrance.

So that is why I started to use Germall II. It is non-paraben and has no known chemical reactions to human health, but is excellent at inhibiting a broad range of bacterial, fungal, and yeast growth. I only use less than 1% in each batch...the proper quantity used for preservation.

All in all, I would rather be safe than sorry. Bacteria and such is not something you want to play around with. There have been quite a few natural product companies that try to create products without any chemical preservatives(Physician's Formula, Burt's Bees, to name a few) but only to fail and cause problems for people. Which, I actually like those brands, I use both brands myself. So nothing against's just that when you are adding water or a water based ingredient to other ingredients, you are inviting bacteria to join the party!

Now, when I make anything that is water free(like salt scrubs with oils) then I just use vitamin E and grapefruit seed extract. Salt itself is a natural preservative(like for fish and jerky, etc.) and no water is introduced, so the only way for bacteria/etc. to be present is from unsanitary handling and packaging.

I also sanitize absolutely EVERYTHING when I create products, especially lotions and scrubs. I bleach my counters and use a hot water/bleach solution for all of my bowls, spoons, containers, etc. I then rinse everything in hot water that is heated to at least 160*.

So there you go...I do my research. That is why you want to be careful about what products you use. You can trust me that Natural Madison products are thoroughly researched, using only the highest quality ingredients and preservatives. :-)