I have made liquid soap only once and do add Germall Plus to it after reconstituting the paste with water. I only use it for shaving my legs and underarms, so it lasts a long time and I certainly don't want to introduce any unwanted microbes to the potentially tender areas, especially since I cannot know for sure I might not nick myself shaving. At first I didn't care, but when I gave some to my granddaughter, it became important to me to add the Germall Plus.
I would recommend it in body scrubs, too because people, me included, tend to use them while in the shower or tub and dip wet hands into the container to pull out the scrub. This introduces water and subsequently the potential for microbial contamination.
I've never made lotions or creams, but depending on the recipe, I would consider it there as well.
For obvious reasons, I do not use any preservatives in bar soap.
Germall Plus is the only one I have used, so I cannot address the question regarding Natural antimicrobial preservatives. Someone else will surely come along with more information.
You can get natural preservatives but they don't cover everything. I've only recently started to research lotion making and what I've found isn't very promising. There is one on the market (triclosan I think it was) that was magnesiumcitrate (I think) but the problem is that if any light reaches the finished product the preservative deactivates. My research so far has pointed to the "unnatural" products because they have the science to prove they work.
I started my research on http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com.au. Susan does have some great information on several preservatives but she limits her research to what is available to her (mostly so she can share firsthand experience).
Would vitamin E Oil be alright. I got a book by karen gilbert and she use vitamin E oil as her preservative and if yes does that mean using sunflower oil count as the same as it got a high % of vitamin E oil in it?
Vitamin E is an antioxidant as opposed to a preservative, i.e., it will help to stave off rancidity in your oils for awhile, but it will not prevent water borne microbes & bacteria from infesting your lotions or creams.
And if you think about how fast regular sunflower oil can go rancid, you'll start to wonder just how effective tocopherols (vitamin E) really are to prevent oxidation in fats. At least I wonder. My strong preference for an antioxidant for oils is ROE, rosemary oleoresin.
Anyway, I'm with the others -- don't confuse antioxidants (things that slow oxidation and rancidity) with antimicrobials (cootie killers, also usually called preservatives).
If you intend to use "natural" antimicrobials, you will have to do your homework, you will probably have to use more than one product to get broad spectrum coverage, and you will have to pay strict attention to the pH and chemical makeup of your product to ensure it is compatible with the preservatives.
I use broad spectrum preservatives (cootie killers) in pretty much everything I make except bar soap. My first choice is liquid Germall Plus for hydrous (containing water) products. If one is afraid of the fact that LGP functions as a preservative by releasing formaldehyde, then it would be important to avoid other things that contain formaldehyde, including eating apples and pears. My backup is Phenonip for anhydrous (no water) products. That's paraben based.
I am with DeeAnna I use Liquid Germall Plus and Phenonip for the same reasons. I preserve my shave soaps because I sell it in low profile jars that can hold onto liquid, cream soap and liquid soap I preserve because I have had them go moldy. Lotion HAS to be preserved. If making lotions you have to research and make sure all your ingredients are compatible with you preservative system.
I use broad spectrum preservatives (cootie killers) in pretty much everything I make except bar soap. My first choice is liquid Germall Plus for hydrous (containing water) products. If one is afraid of the fact that LGP functions as a preservative by releasing formaldehyde, then it would be important to avoid other things that contain formaldehyde, including eating apples and pears. My backup is Phenonip for anhydrous (no water) products. That's paraben based.[/QUOTE]
If you're afraid of parabens, stop eating blueberries and mangoes, etc. as they also contain parabens! There was a discussion somewhere (I don't believe it was on this site) and the consensus was paraben free products were a marketing gimmick.
Personally, I use optiphen for my scrubs and linen sprays.
Good point, TBandCW -- I haven't studied Phenonip as much as LGP. And given that we eat apples, pears, blueberries, and mangoes, it seems more likely that our exposure to formaldehyde and parabens is higher from the fruit than from stuff we put on our skin.
I'm not saying I want to use any more preservative than is needed to get the job done, but I think people overstate the risk of preservatives. IMO using a product kept sanitary with a good preservative is a far better option than using an unpreserved product and hoping for the best that it's not loaded with bacteria and fungi. Ewww.