Crossroads between all natural and not

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maggiemarieoc

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I've been making body butters, lotion bars, and many other beauty products that don't require any emulsifyers or stearic acid. But now due to shipping and the fact that I'm limited to only so many products, I'm contemplating branching out. There's so many conflicting ideals out there that I don't know which way is up. I've been told to stay away from the two products I've mentioned above but no one can give me a good alternative. Someone suggested beeswax and borax but I was told that it's very hard to get the amounts right. Does anyone have any healthier alternatives?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Bear in mind, borax is a controlled substance in the EU. So an approved emulsifier and so on against something that is "natural"..............it's not such a hard choice. Natural does not mean "safe" or "good". E Coli is natural, but I would much rather have a little bit of an unnatural preservative in a product rather than some very nasty, but very natural, germs.
 

IrishLass

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maggiemarieoc

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I really like the swiftly craft monkey blog. Someone recently suggested it and I have been reading it front to back. I do think the lines between organic, made with organic ingredients, and all natural are pretty blurry. And I'm just trying to find out what I'm comfortable with. I still haven't gotten to go over the paraben chapter. I want my products to be natural but if they aren't safe then it really doesn't matter one bit how organic they are. I'd take a lotion with a preservative in it over a rancid bottle of mold to keep my skin soft any day.
 

SpringLily16

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Bear in mind, borax is a controlled substance in the EU. So an approved emulsifier and so on against something that is "natural"..............it's not such a hard choice. Natural does not mean "safe" or "good". E Coli is natural, but I would much rather have a little bit of an unnatural preservative in a product rather than some very nasty, but very natural, germs.
You nailed it! :)
 

shunt2011

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I really like the swiftly craft monkey blog. Someone recently suggested it and I have been reading it front to back. I do think the lines between organic, made with organic ingredients, and all natural are pretty blurry. And I'm just trying to find out what I'm comfortable with. I still haven't gotten to go over the paraben chapter. I want my products to be natural but if they aren't safe then it really doesn't matter one bit how organic they are. I'd take a lotion with a preservative in it over a rancid bottle of mold to keep my skin soft any day.

That's the perfect way to look at it. You are on the right track.
 

MsHarryWinston

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I understand your confusion. I always thought I wanted my line to be "all natural". That I would only use EOs and the like. Pure natural colors. But honestly, I realized that my beliefs are just not that militant about it. I'm all for harnessing all the benefits that nature has to offer and to avoid the really bad stuff. But to forgo 0.5% of a preservative that can keep you and your customers safe just so that you can say "all natural" seems silly to me. I don't trust people to do the smart thing. If your stuff goes bad and they use it anyway even after you warned them about handling natural products and they blame you you're screwed. Look at what happened when that person sued McDonalds for HOT COFFEE. To me preservatives are a must.

For the rest? Well *shrug*I guess you need to ask yourself if you want to be all natural for the "market" or if that's your passion. Personally I'm sticking with paraben and pthalate free. And trying to keep my stuff 95%+ natural. A touch of scent, a hint of EWax, a drop of preservative. And colors in my soaps. I think that compared to mass produced that's still pretty great.
 

lenarenee

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Bear in mind, borax is a controlled substance in the EU. So an approved emulsifier and so on against something that is "natural"..............it's not such a hard choice. Natural does not mean "safe" or "good". E Coli is natural, but I would much rather have a little bit of an unnatural preservative in a product rather than some very nasty, but very natural, germs.
Do you know precisely why it's a controlled substance in the EU? And whatever the issue is - does it apply to topical use? I know in the US there's plenty of people on both sides of the fence and one of the major reasons was caused by poor science info. I continue to use borax for laundry, but if you know something I don't I'd love to hear it.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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It relates mainly to food use. Safety info on borax says to avoid contact with eyes and do not ingest and so on. It's also a pesticide.

The fact that it IS a controlled substance here means that I would find an alternative or recipes without it.

I was using that as an example in this thread about 'natural' and 'safe' to highlight that it isn't always so. I'm not saying that people shouldn't use borax.
 

joy.

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I've been experimenting with grain alcohol as a natural preservative (everclear). I'm finding it's not drying like rubbing alcohol and doesn't smell once it's mixed in with EOs, so that may be an option to consider. I don't know the rules about selling stuff with that in it though.
 

shunt2011

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I've been experimenting with grain alcohol as a natural preservative (everclear). I'm finding it's not drying like rubbing alcohol and doesn't smell once it's mixed in with EOs, so that may be an option to consider. I don't know the rules about selling stuff with that in it though.
You can't sell anything with drinking alcohol in it. also, I wouldn't consider alcohol as a preservative in anything I make. I would suggest getting the product tested.
 

dixiedragon

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My grandfather always said "snake venom is all natural". That being said, if your "brand" is heavily focused on being all natural, and it's doing well, then it may be a prudent business choice for you to stick to that.

Regards to preservatives - if natural preservatives were just as good, we probably wouldn't have gone to so much trouble to invent more.
 

lenarenee

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It relates mainly to food use. Safety info on borax says to avoid contact with eyes and do not ingest and so on. It's also a pesticide.

The fact that it IS a controlled substance here means that I would find an alternative or recipes without it.

I was using that as an example in this thread about 'natural' and 'safe' to highlight that it isn't always so. I'm not saying that people shouldn't use borax.
Thanks for the info. I had done some research on borax a couple years ago and was just wondering how accurate I'd been.
 

joy.

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I wouldn't consider alcohol as a preservative in anything I make. I would suggest getting the product tested.
http://www.madaracosmetics.com/en/e...natural-alcohol-in-cosmetics-myths-and-facts/

I don't sell cosmetics and don't usually make anything for myself that requires them so I'm not an expert. I've just noticed it being used as a preservative in quite a few organic products lately. I made a room/linen spray using alcohol and essential oils a few weeks ago and so far there's no obvious mold growth, but I used a lot of alcohol. I wish there was more info on it out there - safe percentages, etc.
 

joy.

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Here's a thread that might help out a little bit: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53612 .....scroll down to posts 4 and 5.


IrishLass :)
Thank you for the link! The 20% suggestion is in line with some of the other limited info I've been able to find, but I've also read up to 60% is needed depending on the formula. It seemed to work well in an aftershave I was playing around with, but I scrapped it when my husband proclaimed aftershave is "old fashioned". I'd love to experiment with it more, but the only thing other than room spray I need to make with a preservative is a leave-in conditioner, and I'm not sure how much my hair would love the alcohol.
Sidenote: If you're making room spray, I've found that if you use a min. of 60% alcohol and mix your essential oils into the alcohol before diluting with distilled water, you don't need an emulsifier. : )
 

IrishLass

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It seemed to work well in an aftershave I was playing around with, but I scrapped it when my husband proclaimed aftershave is "old fashioned".
Gasp- what? :lol: I must admit that my own hubby and son are the type that are proudly old fashioned and don't mind flaunting it (son is only 22, btw). Hubby even has his corner office space at work all decked out in steam-punk décor. lol They would probably go on a hunger strike if I ever refused to make them aftershave again. Well, okay, maybe not a hunger strike- they love food too much- but they'd definitely put up a protest for sure. lol Their facial skin(s) are quite happy with aftershave.

Using DeeAnna's math equation in the link I provided, I figured out that my own aftershave recipe contains 60% alcohol. Plenty enough alcohol to preserve it.


IrishLass :)
 

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