This is from the New Directions web site:
Aspen has always been a popular wood for building across North American and Asia, because of its resistance to insects and molds, and continues to be used in saunas. It is not only used as a preservative in cosmetics, but also for its skin smoothing properties. Aspen Bark was traditionally used in tea-like drink for coughs, and its leaves were used as poultices for sore joints.
Common Uses: A brown powder that is soluble in solutions of alcohol and water, it is believed to be an effective natural preservative that prevents molding. A tincture is made to add to the water phase of the product and used at 1.5 to 3.5%.
That said, I'm not sure how confident I would be in using only a botanical as a preservative. If you're sure you want to go this route, I'd recommend having it challenge tested. (Not sure how you'd go about that but.... safety first.)
Thanks for your answer! With the general consensus of everybody here, I’m definitely gonna be looking at a different route. When you said the world botanical, all I thought was how “botanicals” are germ food typically, how silly of me! I’m going to reply to everyone and ask everybody this, but do you know of any good, effective preservatives for very sensitive dry skin?
You would still need to use a broad spectrum preservative of some sort to stave off the other nasties when you cosider what Misschief said.
Thanks for your answer! Definitely not gonna go the aspen route. Do you know any preservatives for very sensitive dry skin that I could use? Beginner here lol.
New Directions is describing this product with "weasel words" like "it is believed to be." I want to see something more confident like "scientific studies show..." before I'm willing to believe this is a legitimate preservative. IMO don't read too much into the N.D. hype.
I'm much more willing to trust the preservative info from Making Skincare; they have no "dog in the fight" other than educating people. Per this website, Phytocide Aspen isn't much of a preservative for any kind of microbes. If the commercial product isn't a reliable preservative, I can't see how a homemade concoction would be any better.
– gram positive bacteria?
– gram negative bacteria?
Source: Preservative Reviews
Do a search on this page for phytocide - it's near the bottom of the list.
Thank you! I’ll definitely use this source when deciding on my final preservative. Do I want fungus and bacteria in my spray lotion? No lol. Do you know any preservatives that would be good for very dry, sensitive skin? Does this site have those kinds of resources?
DeeAnna beat me to it. These types of preservatives are not proven to be effective. You need to use proven preservatives and all preservatives are expensive if you want to play with lotions you need to pay the price to use proper preservatives. Preserving my lotions is one of my most expensive ingredients because I use a dual preserving system. The bacteria that can grow can cause infections if there are open wounds or lacerations, infections can go sepsis which can be deadly. It is just not worth the risk.
Yeah, I definitely hear you. I’d rather spend the money and create something fun WITHOUT the germs thank you lol! Yeah aspen is definitely not my buddy anymore. I was just reading up some more and read a few instances of people ending up in the hospital from molds that formed in their homemade body milk/moisturizer. Yeahhhh don’t want that to be me lol. Do you know any preservatives that could work for my sensitive, dry skin?
The phytocide preservative is not just aspen bark powder. The salicylates have been extracted from the bark, isolated and standardized to give the product. So it is really just salicylates with all of the other parts removed. (PhytoCide Aspen Bark Extract Powder - Active Micro Technologies
Reviews (such as the one mentioned above) of the phytocide product show very weak preservative activity. So you would be getting even less activity (if any) from aspen bark powder.
It is not worth the risk to use subpar preservatives.
Check out Making Skincare for reviews of preservatives and you should find one that is more suitable to your product.
Thank you so much! Yeah, aspen’s a no-no lol. As a beginner I really appreciate everyone’s help with this! Do you know any preservatives that would be fine for my sensitive, dry skin?