Lotion , body butter’s & bacteria

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Cal43

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I’m new at making lotion, still in the research stage. I’ve read that lotions must have preservatives in order to avoid bacteria growth.
1. Is there a natural preservative that I’m not seeing?
2. Would body butter grow bacteria seeing that it has no water?

What type of body lotion can be made without a preservative that would not grow bacteria? Thank You
 
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Misschief

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Any product that contains water must have a preservative. It's recommended in body butter as fingers will be used for scooping it up and we all know that fingers aren't sterile. Depending on the product, I use either Optiphen or Germall Plus. Optiphen can be used at higher temperatures than Germall.
 

lsg

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My choice of preservative for lotions, shampoos and body washes is Germall Plus. For anhydrous products I use Optiphen.
 

cmzaha

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I use a 2 preservative system in my lotions but have also done a lot of testing and have had our lotions lab tested. Because I sell I could not just make a lotion and depend on a preservative system to work. If you are making the lotion for yourself and comfortable with trusting a preservative that is fine, but I will strongly recommend staying away from adding in milk or even hydrosols. Proteins are extremely hard to impossible to preserve long term. In other words, anything that can be bug food. Keep your lotion very simple. In over a year of constant testing, I had many failures and still have failures at times.
 

atiz

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I also use Liquid Germall Plus and sometimes Optiphen (esp. if temperature is an issue).

I agree with the others: keep it relatively simple, at least while you get used to it. I use hydrosols sometimes (about 30% of water replacement) and can already notice that they do not last as long as those without it. (They still last almost a year, but then start smelling a bit off. I don't sell so that's fine for me; when I smell that they smell like old crayons, I just make some new one.)

Technically, if your body butter has only butters and oils (so no water and no emulsion), then it does not need a preservative. But I agree that if you foresee getting into the jar with a wet finger or anything, then you better use one. The only thing I don't use a preservative for (but then I don't really make body butter) is body oil that I keep in a pump top bottle, and then of course lip balm.
 

DeeAnna

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Other aspects you need to keep in mind is the preservative is just one part of an entire system of manufacture and use --

Use good sanitation when making the product to minimize contamination by the manufacturer
Choose containers that limit the chance of contamination by the user (pump bottle vs. open jar, for example)
Strictly limit or avoid additives such as milk, aloe, beer, sugars, etc. that provide a "balanced diet" for explosive microbial growth

People focus so much on the preservative, and, yes, it's important, but no preservative is ever going to work well if the other elements are ignored.
 

Cal43

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I use a 2 preservative system in my lotions but have also done a lot of testing and have had our lotions lab tested. Because I sell I could not just make a lotion and depend on a preservative system to work. If you are making the lotion for yourself and comfortable with trusting a preservative that is fine, but I will strongly recommend staying away from adding in milk or even hydrosols. Proteins are extremely hard to impossible to preserve long term. In other words, anything that can be bug food. Keep your lotion very simple. In over a year of constant testing, I had many failures and still have failures at times.
I only want a simple recipe for myself and family. Looking to keep it very simple.

Thank You everyone. There is so much to learn with each body product.
 
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