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The chemist who came to town

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galaxyMLP

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I work in a lab and we are getting a new instrument set up (yay HPLC!). I mentioned soap making to the man who was setting it up (you know, because soap makers love to talk about soap!!). He has worked in analytical chemistry for 15+ years and said he also made soap and has a business (soap making for 7 years). After talking to him for a while I got the vibe that he wasn't exactly following the law or good manufacturing practice (odd coming from a man who worked in pharma for so many years...)

Since we are in Florida, I assumed he did not make any products but soap. But then he started talking about shampoo, conditioner, lotion, ect. I asked him how he got away with it and he said "well, its not really a cosmetic because I market it under the natural goods, so as long as I put the disclaimer " these statements are not intended to treat...." Then its ok." I nodded my head pretending to agree with him but in my mind I was thinking "thats not how this works, that's not how any of this works!"

Then major red flags went up when he said he didn't use lab created preservatives for his milk lotion. He said he found "an essential oil that acts as a preservative" which I'm assuming was grapefruit oil extract (not a preservative). He said he did wholesale to hotels.

Is it possible he knows something I don't?

I get to work with him again tomorrow... Yayyy. [emoji20]

Eta: milk lotion not milk soap!
 
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galaxyMLP

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Thanks Dee Anna. That's what I thought. I'll stick to talking about HPLCs tomorrow. No soap!
 

new12soap

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I suppose it's possible he knows How To Practice Willful Ignorance For Fun and Profit.

He is either aware of the rules and is doing some serious bending over backwards to justify his baloney, or else he is truly WAY out of his depth. I'm not sure which possibility is more frightening. I was paralyzed with fear once we got to not-preserving-ANY-lotion.

I know there are a lot of people that honestly do not know what the rules are in Florida, and there are a few people that do know what they are and choose, erm, let's call it "civil disobedience". But that particular convoluted rationalization is a new one on me.
 

Susie

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I intentionally don't make lotion or conditioner just because I don't want to use "lab created preservatives". I figure if I buy and use those, then I may as well buy the "lab created" lotions and conditioners. But I know enough to not make the stuff because I know that I MUST use those "lab created preservatives". The fact that he is selling products scares me.
 

lenarenee

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I'm really worried about those unsuspecting hotel guests with those little bottles of milk lotion they probably tossed into their suitcases to take home!
 

shunt2011

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OMG, I'm thinking he's just skirting the rules to suit himself. I see visions of creepy crawley things in that lotion that unsuspecting guests will slather on their body...YUK!!!
 

Seawolfe

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I read somewhere (wish I could remember) that grapefruit seed extract was being touted as an "all natural preservative", but laboratory testing revealed that the GSE was a whole lot of synthetic preservatives and only a little grapefruit seed extract. I've read the same for some companies hiding the preservative in the fragrances.

I actually hope that this is what this guy is doing - lying about his preservatives rather than exposing a bunch of people to some serious nastiness. OH AND becoming yet another example of why all soap makers should be more tightly regulated.
 

galaxyMLP

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It sucks doesn't it? Yeah, I was envisioning little nasties in the lotion too. Especially since he said that the lotion went rancid super fast if he didn't add his preservative but with it "it would last for months". I'm not sure if that meant that it eventually went rancid or he just stopped testing at that point. Either way, eww.

Seawolf,
I also read that companies are hiding their preservative in the fragrance because fragrances are a trade secret and they don't have to disclose what's in them but that's just bad practice in my opinion.

And Susie, if you make lotion at home even with lab created preservatives it will be (in my opinion) much better than anything you can buy. You can select the type of preservative and use actual oils in it instead of petroleum based emollients. Im thinking of making lotion for myself and my family in the near future (obviously not to sell!)

Also, the hotel had green in the name but I can't remember what else. I am just going to read the ingredients in the hotels in Tampa if I ever stay there!
 

Susie

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I buy Alba Botanica lotion and conditioner from Walmart. No SLS, no petro-chemicals that I can find. Good stuff. Has the required preservatives, and does not give me eczema.
 

Irishgem29

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You can also make a "lotion" by just adding a little bit of Shea. Butter to your oil. I have been making this for 15+ years and never had an issue. Just like body butter recipes but lighter on butters. Has a nice creamy concistanvecy and you can use in a pump bottle. No water, no preservative
 

Earthen_Step

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You can also make a "lotion" by just adding a little bit of Shea. Butter to your oil. I have been making this for 15+ years and never had an issue. Just like body butter recipes but lighter on butters. Has a nice creamy concistanvecy and you can use in a pump bottle. No water, no preservative
Massage oil and body butters work well as a replacement if you don't want to use a preservative.

I do know people who make their own lotions with no preservatives, but they make micro batches and keep it in the fridge. Since this guy is selling the stuff and presumably in hotels, you should really mention something to him or hand him a book/article. He might be holding off the rancidity and even slowing microbial growth, but his lotions should be used fast and kept in the fridge.

*If the hotel finds a batch that's gone bad he could easily get sued. He might appreciate your information.
 
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galaxyMLP

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Massage oil and body butters work well as a replacement if you don't want to use a preservative.

I do know people who make their own lotions with no preservatives, but they make micro batches and keep it in the fridge. Since this guy is selling the stuff and presumably in hotels, you should really mention something to him or hand him a book/article. He might be holding off the rancidity and even slowing microbial growth, but his lotions should be used fast and kept in the fridge.

*If the hotel finds a batch that's gone bad he could easily get sued. He might appreciate your information.
It was obvious that he didn't want any advice. I got the feeling he was talking a bit down to me because I mentioned retail sales and that I'm still developing some recipes and he was like "oh yeah, I started in retail but realized its really not worth it. You can really only make money in wholesale. This way I don't even have to package my soaps" I felt like he was patting my over the head going "its ok, I know everything".

Ive also made a body butter before that I love (and so does my whole family!). But for myself I think I want to make some lotions too (I'm not opposed to using a lab created preservative at all). I think I will make that my summer project and make some lotions for my birthday in august. I'm sure I will love them. Thanks for the body butter/massage oil advice though!



Is this him?
And yes TEG, I think that was him. If I squint at the picture he's a dead ringer! [emoji14]
 
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barndive

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It sucks when you work hard for something and a person does it as well but he bends all the rules to make it easier for them. People ultimately get what they deserve. So just tolerate him for as long as possible.
 

galaxyMLP

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Thankfully he left just a day after I posted this. He only came into our lab to install and instrument and then he left. I really love all the support I get here. Thanks you guys.
 
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