D – Preservatives in lotion made with WATER.

Preservatives in lotion made with WATER.

Preservatives are vast and variable.There are too many to list here so I will share some key points and add a few links of resources should you like to do a little research on your own.  I hope this information will help you understand why Oola Body Care must use a small percentage
(approx. one percent) of a preservative in our lotions (which are formulated with distilled water) for both health and legal reasons. 

Are they necessary?

Of course the answer we would all hope for is …no. But, the truth is that when water is involved, they are very necessary in order to protect you and the ones you love from horrid things like staph infections and ill health. Lotion products one buys from stores are so thoroughly preserved that they basically own an infinite shelf life. Oola has researched the most effective all ranging preservatives, come to conclusions and calculated the dosage to keep lotions safe for use while not overdosing the product.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information out in the big world reguarding preservatives.


Water = preservative

No water =  no preservative

Water. When crafting skin care products with water (or when products come in contact with water) one should always use a preservative.This is not true when using say, a bath bomb, or an individual sugar scrub, as that would be considered a single use product. You add it to your bath water and it melts/dissipates and is gone. You do not need a preservative when making oil based lip balms as there is no water used in its formulation.

Think of food poisoning. If you have ever had it you must remember that you had no inkling when you were eating the infected food that there was anything wrong with it. Bacteria can be minuscule. You can place a half million bacteria on a teaspoon of food and it will look and smell completely normal.

WATER. Water is a hotbed for microbes, mold and bacteria!

‘All Natural.’ Saying a product is all natural and therefore does not need a preservative is the exact opposite of being true. Think about items in your fridge that are ‘all natural’ like cheese, yoghurt, milk and meat. Think about their life in a fridge. These have expiry dates (short life expiry dates) and their life is contingent on you keeping those products in the fridge.  Part of what makes them ‘natural’ is the fact that they are made up of things that microbes etc. want and love to eat. Even if kept in the fridge, we all know fuzzy things will begin to grow quite quickly on them.  Many nasty infiltrators are not even visible to the naked eye. Oola lotion uses 99 percent natural ingredients such as avocado oil, grapeseed oil, etc. and also about one percent of a preservative. But,this less than one percent is keeping you and the ones you love safe from a possible unwanted visit to the hospital.

IF you are making your own lotions and think, “I am only making/giving this for me or to friends and family, am not selling it, and therefore don’t need a preservative,” think again. Why would someone put the people closest to them at risk of a staph infection? Sure, they might be less likely to sue you, but if you love them (and yourself) I would assume you want to keep them (and you) safe. One would not serve a smelly piece of chicken to a family member and say “Don’t worry, it’s all natural.” We love them too much to make them sick or put them at risk.

If water based lotion was going to be left in the fridge for three days and is completely used up in that time then perhaps a preservative could be eliminated. However, it is highly unlikely a person would use an 8oz./ 4oz.  bottle of lotion in that time and really, who wants to apply fridge cold lotion? My point here is that if you ever make your own lotion and keep it in the fridge for an extremely short time frame then perhaps you could get away with no preservative, but I would not recommend it.

 ‘Allergic to preservatives.’ The percentage of people who are truly allergic to all preservatives is less than two percent. If you think you are in this category then all lotions on all shelves will not meet your requirements and I would stick with making your own, keeping it in the fridge and using it within two to three days. I think it is wiser to have a minimum preservative then a nasty staph infection or many of the other fast growing bacteria that congregate in a very short amount of time and can cause horrific results. OR, use only things that have NO waterincluded. It is that simple.

‘Vitamin E is a preservative.’Absolutely not true. It is an antioxidant (a substance that has been said to prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules produced by the body as a reaction to the environment and other pressures.) Vitamin E will do absolutely nothing to prevent a microbial gathering in a product containing water. This is also true for things like rosemary seed extract, grapeseed extract and sodium lactate.

Just because something has anti-microbial, anti-viral properties, such as tea tree oil or other essential oils, this does not mean preservation by any means. These have no bearing on the shelf life of a product containing water.

Even with a broad spectrum preservative one should be careful with their products. Don’t leave it in the direct sun, try not to have it come into contact with your (or someone else’s) open hands as that invites outside germs and bacteria into the lime light. This is why a pump bottle is much more effective in keeping your product safer then say an open jar.

Things like milk, clay, and botanicals are harder to preserve. So adding goat milk to a lotion will make it much harder to preserve. Preservatives do their best to fight bacteria but are not eternal super heroes.

Things like floral water, aloe vera juice, and tea are no different than simple water. Aloe juice for example is ninety-nine percent water. Using botanicals would be more likely to spoil faster than if one used simple water. So in these cases, a preservative is even more essential.

Here are a few URL’s. Being informed helps us all make good decisions. FYI, after much deliberation and research,Oola Body Care decided on Optiphen/Optiphen Plus and Liquid Germall Plus and use these at the lowest effective requirements.   http://makingskincare.com/preservatives/



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