Some help identifying these bumps in lotion?

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grassyriver

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I don't make creams or any liquid bath & body products but I purchased this facial cream from a local seller on Etsy. The ingredients are:

Ingredients: Almond oil, Coconut oil, Aloe Vera Gel, Cocoa Butter, Distilled Water, Shea butter, Beeswax, Lanolin, Lavender Essential oil, Honey, Grapefruit seed extract, natural Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopheryl) and natural Vitamin A and Fragrance.

I noticed after using it for about a week that some weird bumps started appearing on it. I asked her about them (fearing bacteria) and she said the GSE, Vit E and Beeswax were 3 preservatives to keep it safe for 4 months. She said that the shea butter had "reset" into granules after having possibly gotten warm and cooled again. Opinions on that? I don't want to use it on my face if it may be unsafe.

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MySoapyHeart

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Uh-oh... I would not use that.
I have not made a speck of lotion in my life, but just looking at the ingredienst list with the water added, (distilled and Aloe Vera) and no Optiphen or other preservatives than the Grapeseed extract and vit. E?? I may be WAY off, but I kind of get a feeling she does not know what she is doing...?

And the fact that she did not offer you a immediate refund after what you told her is beyond me. If it were me I would be SO worried that a customer would use a produkt with issues like that.

But again, I may be way off and have no idea what I am saying! Still wouldn`t use it though... : )
 

Muskette

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GSE, Vitamin E, and Beeswax are NOT preservatives. It does look like grainy shea butter in the pic, but even so, that lotion is not preserved and probably already full of bacteria. Sorry.
 

WildIris

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I don't make lotions. I've only bought bases, and those bases always have a preservative such as Optiphen. To me, your photo is showing signs of brewing bacteria. DO NOT USE! When in doubt, throw it out.

Moisturizer, lotion, soap, shampoo, and condition get extra hot in my swim bag in my car. The soap melts, sometimes the conditioner explodes, but I've never seen what your photo shows.
 
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snappyllama

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I totally agree. That lotion needs to be thrown away (sorry). Don't use it on any body part! You need a broad spectrum preservative for any lotion.

GSE is not a preservative. Read more here: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2010/10/preservatives-grapefruit-seed-extract.html

Beeswax isn't either (hearing people claim that it is - that's a new one for me)

Vitamin E isn't a preservative either. It's an antioxidant that can help extend oils from going rancid as quickly. It will not do a thing against bacteria, fungus and other critters having a pool party (and inviting all their friends) when water is included in a mix.
 

DeeAnna

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Lanolin can absorb a small amount of water-based liquid, true, but it is not going to be a reliable, effective emulsifier for a cream like this where water and aloe are present in fairly large amounts. Beeswax can thicken a product but without being combined with borax, it cannot act as an emulsifier either.

Beeswax is NOT a preservative -- I have no idea why the maker thinks it is. Perhaps she was wanting to say the honey is the preservative? But if that's what she meant, that's not true either. Honey is SELF preserving due to its very high sugar content and very low water content. Whenever honey is mixed with other ingredients, as it is in this cream, it is diluted into a good source of sugar for microbes to feast on.

GSE has been thoroughly discredited as a preservative, but some people haven't yet heard the news. Vitamin E may function as an antioxidant (prevents rancidity), but it is not a preservative (prevents microbial growth).

So there's no effective preservative and no effective emulsifier, and the fats, aloe, and honey are lovely food for cooties. If the bumps are solid, then I also think it's the shea and possibly the cocoa butter. If the bumps are liquid, I'm guessing it's water or aloe weeping out due to emulsion failure.

I have to say this is not something I want to put on my face.
 

Arimara

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I'm of a mind that the seller should be reported. It's irresponsible to sell a product without a preservative, let alone any guarantee of its safety. For the record, I have used shea butter repeatedly in my formulations, even though I used optiphen and I have NEVER seen any bumps like that. Not once. So I highly doubt it's the shea. Without proper testing, you may never know for sure what that is but I'm with Wild Iris- that looks like a cootie party in the making.
 

Dahila

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I have customers that ask for unpreserved lotion. I try to educate them, anyway I would not put it on my skin, or anyone else. Practice like that is simply dangerous. I also think she should be not in business with products like that
 

IrishLass

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I agree with what everyone above has said 100%. I would toss it out post haste.

The seller's comments to you reveal a severe lack of knowledge in how to properly and safely formulate lotions/creams. A properly formulated lotion/cream using the correct amount of the proper emulsifiers should not go grainy, even if it goes from warm to cool conditions..... at least based on my experiences with my own handmade lotions.

It sounds like the seller gained her lotion-making info from the wrong blogs (which is easy to do on the vast interwebs, unfortunately), instead of from blogs like Swiftcraftymonkey's (Susan Barclay,), and/or the folks over at LotionCrafters who know what they are talking about.


IrishLass :)
 

TeresaT

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I'm of a mind that the seller should be reported. It's irresponsible to sell a product without a preservative, let alone any guarantee of its safety.
I also think she should be not in business with products like that
I agree with what everyone above has said 100%. I would toss it out post haste.

The seller's comments to you reveal a severe lack of knowledge in how to properly and safely formulate lotions/creams.

It sounds like the seller gained her lotion-making info from the wrong blogs (which is easy to do on the vast interwebs, unfortunately), instead of from blogs like Swiftcraftymonkey's (Susan Barclay,), and/or the folks over at LotionCrafters who know what they are talking about.


IrishLass :)
I agree with what everyone has said. Please toss it. Or, better yet, hang on to it and photograph it every day for several months and post a time lapse video to YouTube about the dangers of unpreserved handmade creams and lotions. That would be AWESOME!!! And a link to the seller's site. Make sure you give the seller all of the credit due to him/her for making that video possible. I digress...

I just want to add my personal opinion to the above quoted comments:

You can't fix stupid. You can only hope it doesn't breed.
 

Arimara

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I agree with what everyone has said. Please toss it. Or, better yet, hang on to it and photograph it every day for several months and post a time lapse video to YouTube about the dangers of unpreserved handmade creams and lotions. That would be AWESOME!!! And a link to the seller's site. Make sure you give the seller all of the credit due to him/her for making that video possible. I digress...

I just want to add my personal opinion to the above quoted comments:

You can't fix stupid. You can only hope it doesn't breed.
I agree. Keep the stuff and take pics ever few days or so. May be even more often depending on how fast this stuff is breaking down. I'm not one for getting people into trouble but when they are a danger to people around them (like in this case, the seller selling an unsafe product), they need to be taken down a few pegs.
 

doriettefarm

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If the seller was ignorant enough not to use a preservative, I would do exactly what TeresaT suggested. Maybe photo evidence of the mold & ick would make them reconsider ingredients and processes for lotion making. You could always present them with photos and politely ask for a full refund . . . give them a chance to make things right before blasting them online. But if they don't see the error of their ways, I think a blasting is what they rightfully deserve.

I'm not an expert lotion maker by any means but know preservatives are mandatory. I follow suggested usage rates and temperature guidelines when using preservatives in lotions/creams but still had a batch of emulsified body butter go funky on me. Wish there was better testing available for the home lotion crafter without being cost prohibitive.
 

grassyriver

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Thank you all for the helpful advice! I absolutely will not be using it. I actually stopped using it when I saw the bumps. I think I will hang on to it and take progress photos though. The seller is mostly a beekeeper I believe as she sells mainly honey products and a few different lotions and lotion bars. This might be a new venture and I agree she may not know what she is doing. This was her verbatim response when I asked about the issue:

"Great question! I will add an explanation to our product description to help.
There are a few reasons that it can sometimes change consistency. The prominent is the shea butter and organic coconut oil will reset naturally with granules if they have liquefied due to heat.
This is a completely natural occurrence and usually only happens if the product has liquefied. If it was very warm, this likely occurred during mailing. However, this will not change the effectiveness of the product and the granules of natural Shea butter will dissolve during application.
Placing it in the refrigerator will help it to reset and extend the shelf life, but is not necessary.

If you see a visible color change to green or brown, this could be the result of contamination. We do recommend that you wash your hands each time before using the product, to ensure that there will be no bacteria transferred into the facial cream tub.
There are essentially 3 natural preservatives in your facial cream. These include natural vitamin e (d-alpha tocopheryl), grapefruit seed extract, and beeswax.
These will keep your product preserved for 4 month, longer if refrigerated.
We will gladly send you a new one if you would like. Please let us know if you be believe that the product is unsatisfactory. We've had great success with this product with direct sales through farmers market, festivals and our wholesalers, but adding the shipping factor through Etsy has added some new challenges for our completely natural, preservative-free skincare items.

Hope that helps explain.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your inquiry and purchase."
 

Arimara

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She's malinformed. I can understand not wanted parabens in your products but ALL creams and lotions must have a preservative if you're going to sell it. It's the best way to prevent a hefty lawsuit, which her lack of information will net her in the near future. A proper emulsifier should be on the must-have list as well, if we're going to call it a lotion or a cream. She could at least look into borax to use with the beeswax. She'd be better off making a shea whip than a cream or lotion. She wouldn't really need a preservative then.

So many things wrong with this and I'm not an expert at all.
 

Seawolfe

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I've had no water lotion bars and body goops go grainy like that after heating and cooling, and they were fine for my own use. Still - adding water and no preservative? Ew
She's confusing anti-oxidants with preservatives, and no idea why she thinks beeswax is either one of those.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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The fact that she sent something to you that clearly states that she considers these ingredients as natural preservatives means that you have that in case she wants to get funny with you.

It's so sad, because it seems that she genuinely believes it.
 

Dorymae

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It is scary that she is selling this. I formulate lotion both with cocoa butter and Shea and it does not separate even when heated and cooled. Here in Arizona it gets hot, and I have found my lotions will thin out in the heat but they never separate. Preservatives are essential in anything that contains water or may be contaminated with water ( sugar scrubs come to mind).

I'm so glad you had the inclination to ask about this. A bacterial infection on the face is not a pleasant thing and could even cause scarring. She should be educated on what she is doing.
 

shunt2011

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That's just sad and very poor practice. Someone is going to get a terrible infection one of these days. I'm not a huge lotion maker but she is sadly so misinformed and I think she truly believes what she's saying. Maybe sending her a message with a link to Swift's site and a brief explanation might help push her in the right direction. Otherwise, I hope she has good insurance.
 

DeeAnna

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The fact that she notes the product might have a "....visible color change to green or brown..." within her 4 month shelf life should tell HER something important. The preservation system she is using is not working and the jar she is using for packaging allows -- and even encourages -- the consumer to introduce contamination. By the time a person actually sees microbial growth, it's far too late. Her point of view is that the consumer should be the one to solve problems that SHE should be preventing.

I'm puzzled that she wants to do the right thing in a certain sense, but is so badly misinformed about truly effective methods of preserving and emulsifying her product. Susan (swiftcraftymonkey) and a few other reputable people are reviewing Ecocert preservatives and the proper use of lanolin or borax+beeswax as emulsifiers ... so decent information is out there for this lady to find.
 
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