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Soap Making Forum > Soapmaking & Candle Recipe & Tutorials Forum > Bath, Body and Aromatherapy Recipes & Tutorials > Infused oils and bacterial growth...
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:06 PM   #1
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Default Infused oils and bacterial growth...

Hi all!


As we all know herbs introduce bacteria and other germs to products.

But do we have to avoid infused oils with botanicals (calendula,lavender etc) to our creams/ lotions/liquid soap even when adding a preservative?

I dont think it has to do only with water systems, but also for a non water system such as a beeswax balm... I ve seen a lot of people using them on a bar soap though, but pH is too high on soaps...

I am sorry if its goofy question again but i would like to know your view as i am a little bit confused

Edit: I am really sorry for the wrong section. I would like to post it on the "Bath and Body subforum "



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Old 11-01-2016, 11:14 PM   #2
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Can you clarify what you are asking?


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Old 11-02-2016, 08:59 AM   #3
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He is asking if it is okay to use infused oils in lotions etc if using a preservative.

Also in anhydrous products, where the lack of water usually means that no preservative is required, could he use a preservative to combat any growth from the infusion?
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:51 PM   #4
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My opinion is yes to both questions, but I don't think the preservative is strictly necessary for some types of anhydrous products.

To make an infused oil that needs to have a long shelf life, I only use dried herbs, not fresh, so only the tiniest trace of water, if any, is added to the oil. I keep my oil away from heat and out of sunlight while infusing, which is contrary to some advice, but I know heat and UV increase the chance of rancidity. After infusing, I filter the herbs out of the oil with a coffee filter to minimize any added foreign material in the oil. Ideally the infusion should only contain oil-soluble chemicals from the herb -- no water and no solid particles. I also store the infused oil in the refrigerator.

I use calendula infused oil in some of my lotions. All lotions or any other product that contains water and oil are always preserved with liquid germall plus.

I make anhydrous salve and anhydrous lip balm with the same calendula infused oil. I don't use a preservative in either of these products, but it's certainly an option. I do use preservative in my emulsifying sugar scrub, and that's also an anhydrous product. There is greater chance of the scrub growing cooties than the salve or balm, given how it is used.
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Old 11-02-2016, 03:20 PM   #5
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cold oil infusion with dried herbs, fresh herbs infused with vodka ) extracts.
I use my cold oil infusions in a lot of products I do not add preservative into salves just VE, and ask people to use clean, dry hands when dipping in it
My Arnica/Comfrey salve on my night stand is like 8 months old not problem so far
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Old 11-12-2016, 01:39 AM   #6
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After I strain out any material, I cook the oil on low heat to eliminate any extra water that might still be there. Don't know if it's right or wrong, just something that makes me feel better.
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:15 PM   #7
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The secret is to dry the herbs so no water is present it takes 10-14 days for my picked up herbs in humidity of 40% , Not on sun, downstairs in workshop where I can control humidity. I do only cool infusing I do believe that warming it unnecessary is loosing a lot of benefits. warming oils will not hurt)
I as DeeAnna use my infused oils but with preservation. Sugars scrubs or any product that may come in contact with water must be preserved
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:43 PM   #8
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I dry my herbs & botanicals in a low temperature oven. It's probably not a high enough heat to kill all organisms, but in my situation (lack of humidity controlled drying racks/hanging area) it works well to dry sufficiently.

So far I only use these infused oils in soap so am not worried. If I do ever add them to my own personal B&B products, I will use a preservative. So far the only B&B products I make are salt scrubs, sugar scrubs and liquid shaving soap, but have not used any of my infused oils for those.


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