Vitamin E and preservatives

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Jarrah

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Hi, I have read that oil based products do not need a preservative if it's not going to come into contact with water and you can add vit E to extend the oil life without the need of a preservative.
But isn't vit E a humectant? Therefore drawing water to the product, therefore can attract bacteria? I read on an older thread that veg glycerin needs a preservative because it is a humectant so just confused about the vit E
thanks
 
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lsg

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If you are worried about using Vit E, you can use rosemary oleoresin instead. You can also use LiquiPar or Phenonip as a broad spectrum preservative in oil based products.
 

DeeAnna

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Vitamin E a humectant? I'm curious where you learned this! Susan at Swift Crafty Monkey is the go-to person about things like this, so check her blog for accurate information. Here are a couple of her blog posts that talk about vitamin E:

http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/10/more-in-depth-look-at-anti-oxidants.html
http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2014/06/weekend-wonderings-why-is-vitamin-e.html

As far as glycerin itself needing a preservative -- no. Pure glycerin is self preserving, just like pure honey. The problem comes when someone decides to dilute glycerin with other ingredients and expect the glycerin will act as a preservative for the mixture. That's usually a bad idea. Even glycerites, infusions of herbs or fruits in glycerin with a very high % of glycerin, are not self preserving -- they should be kept in the refrigerator for safety. (And the same is true for mixtures with honey.)
 

Jarrah

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thanks so much for the replies and the links
I have read in articles on the web that Vit e is humectant, is this not the case?
what about almond oil, coconut oil, Shea butter and cocoa butter? i have read these are humectants also. if oil based products do not need a preservative, what is stopping water being drawn to the humectant ingredients if glycerin isn't being used?
I have also read you need high amounts of glycerin to work as a preservative
 

DeeAnna

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"...I have read in articles on the web that Vit e is humectant, is this not the case?...

I cannot find reputable information that says this is true. If you have a reference, please provide it. Otherwise, it is probably a myth -- "I read it on the internet, so it must be true."

"...what about almond oil, coconut oil, Shea butter and cocoa butter? i have read these are humectants also...."

Again, where is the source of this information coming from? Give a reference, please! It is hard to have an intelligent discussion if this information is just "appearing out of the air."

"...if oil based products do not need a preservative, what is stopping water being drawn to the humectant ingredients if glycerin isn't being used?..."

Again, what source of information are you using for this belief? I don't think these materials are humectants, so until I know otherwise, this is a question that does not make sense.

"...I have also read you need high amounts of glycerin to work as a preservative..."

Yes, that is correct -- please read my first post for the full answer. There is reputable information about this fact.
 
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Arimara

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thanks so much for the replies and the links
I have read in articles on the web that Vit e is humectant, is this not the case?
what about almond oil, coconut oil, Shea butter and cocoa butter? i have read these are humectants also. if oil based products do not need a preservative, what is stopping water being drawn to the humectant ingredients if glycerin isn't being used?
I have also read you need high amounts of glycerin to work as a preservative
I'm with DeeAnna on this- where is your info coming from? Humectants would draw moisture to or from a product depending on moisture levels in the air. Glycerin fits the bill in that respect. Are you thinking about emollients?
 

Jarrah

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thanks for the reply

on further research I have found those butters and coconut oil repeal moisture and are not humectants however this website states that sweet almond oil is an outstanding humectant with natural water-retention properties
http://www.soaperschoice.com/soapoils/almondoil.html
[SIZE=-1]
regrading my quote stating i have read [/SIZE][SIZE=-1]oil based products do not need a preservative (therefore attracting water to it). below are some examples:
[/SIZE]
Preservatives are needed in any product that has water in it to prevent bacteria and mold from growing in it. *doesn't mention oil
http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/lotion/talk-it-out-tuesday-preservatives/

whenever you have a product that contains water or might be exposed to water, you must add a preservative. *doesn't mention oil based
http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/when-should-you-use-preservative.html

Waterless products:eek:il based. That would include things like baby oil, massage oil, or wax based things like lip balm. They don’t need preservatives because harmful microbes will not grow in them. Spores might land and rest on the product surface, but they won’t germinate.
http://chemistscorner.com/preservative-free-cosmetic-formulating-how-to-make-them/

so basically i am wanting to know if I should use a preservative in a body butter with Shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and vitamin e? (I have decided to leave the vege glycerin out of the mix)

And what are your thoughts on that sweet almond oil reference from soapers choice
regarding it being a humectant ?

thanks again for your help
 

Susie

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You do not need a preservative for body butter that only contains oil. Period. The second you add any sort of water based product, though, you must absolutely add a preservative.

Almond oil does not draw water into anything. To prove it to yourself, just weigh some into a saucer (weigh it with the saucer, also), and sit it out in a room with decent air flow. Wait a week. Weigh the saucer with the oil in it. It will weigh the same or slightly less. Therefore, it did not pull moisture into it.
 
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Jarrah

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Great, thanks so much susie I'll give that a try for piece of mind
 

DeeAnna

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^^^^ What Susie said.

Fats can act to reduce evaporation from the surface layer of skin and thus increase the water content of the skin, but this is a "barrier" or "occlusive" function. Humectants are ingredients that attract water into the surface layer of skin from the air or from the underlying skin tissues, and oils just don't have the chemical structure to do that.

While some craft blogs and casual comments on the internet are calling sweet almond oil a humectant, it has the flavor of wishful thinking, not fact. I'm not sure why a business like Soaper's Choice is passing along this information, but perhaps it has something to do with selling products to people who believe this to be true.

"...so basically i am wanting to know if I should use a preservative in a body butter with Shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and vitamin e? (I have decided to leave the vege glycerin out of the mix)..."

If you are strictly careful to not add water-based ingredients to your body butter (and glycerin is water based), then the product is anhydrous and does not need a preservative. BUT people often do dip their fingers into body butter, and that introduces bacteria and water into the product. That is why you will see people adding preservative to anhydrous products -- it's to protect against contamination during use.
 
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Jarrah

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Awesome Thanks Deeanna. I was under the assumption that veg glycerin was an oil as its derived from oils this is why I was super confused about it being a humectant. Silly me! Thanks a lot for your input it's been really helpful :)
 

DeeAnna

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"... I was under the assumption that veg glycerin was an oil as its derived from oils..."

Well, using that logic -- Would you also say it makes sense to assume soap behaves like the oil from which it is made? Or should we assume soap is like its other parent -- sodium hydroxide? Which is right? :mrgreen:
 

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