Can I preserve a herbal infusion?

Hello everyone!

I formulated a hair mask for my personal use to witch I add a Hibiscus flower water infusion. I typically make a 226g, 8oz of this infusion but I only add 113g, 4oz of it to my formula. I would hate to throw out the rest of the infusion so I started entertaining the idea of preserving the infusion with a board spectrum preservative ie like: Propylene Glycol (and) Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate = Germall Plus. So the question is can I preserve a water infusion so it can last longer or is this just crazy talk lol?

Thank you in advance for the insight :)


  • If you have a deep freezer then that is the best way to preserve the quantities that you are dealing with. It also avoids using artificial preservatives which you might being wishing to avoid.
  • edited March 2017
    Thats a grate idea @johnb, thanks! But besides avoiding artificial preservatives would there be any issues or problems as to preserve infused water?
  • I tend to avoid using preservatives if at all possible (most times it is not) hence the freezer.

    I would not use the preservative you suggest under any circumstances as it contains a formaldehyde releaser (Diazolidinyl Urea) and Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate is becoming increasing suspect as a contact allergen.

  • I respectfully disagree with johnb on this one.  The preservative you suggested would do a great job.  There are no proven safety issues using Germall Plus at the proper levels used in cosmetics.

    These ingredients have been reviewed by the CIR and have been demonstrated to be safe.
  • I'm just being ultra cautious!

    You agree about the freezer, though, Perry?
  • Thank you both very much!

    @johnb I am aware of the Formaldahyde problem, I also have some Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid = Optiphen ND which is a good alternative for people avoiding the Formaldehydes. But I have 1lb of the Germall Plus sitting there as I had read the same info on the Formaldehyde issue, how ever I do undestand that people do tend to stigmatize some ingredients without the proper information or scientific insight so I do use it for some experiments on my formulas.

    @Perry Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Iam currently on a role with your Podcasts and I am loving them! Thanks for creating this amazing place.

    Also in the Optiphen ND preservative component Phenoxyethanol I have herd that it is a Petroleum based ingredient which some "naturals" ( as in the kinky curly hair comunity) are alarmed by it sense its AKA petroleum derrived, in my point of view this dos not act like a petroleum ingredient like putting petroleum gelly in your hair or something #1 because of the dosage used as a preservative 0.2% to 1.5% which woulnt have iny efect on the hair what so ever as petroleum gelly, but anyone cares to elaborete on this ingredient if they have the knowledge?
  • Phenoxyethanol is found in nature in chicory and in green tea. It is not necessarily manufactured from a petroleum feedstock.

    What I'm trying to say is that the "anti" fanatics can find always find something to fit their argument so:

    Benzoic acid (so popular amongst the naturals lovers) is widely found in nature but by far the greatest amount in commercial use is synthetic - possibly being made from petroleum via benzene (definitely not something you want in your cosmetic).

    It is always best to keep a sense of proportion in these matters.

  • Thanks for all the intel johnb!
  • @Perry would liquid germall plus do a good job at preserving flaxseed gel as well. I ask this because it is also a herbal infusion (flaxseeds boiled in water then strained) Is it safe to use herbal infusions that have a perservative. 

  • edited March 2017
    @johnb - yes, freezer would work too

    @komirra - that depends on what else is in the flaxseed gel and what microbes the infusion is exposed to. It would certainly be worth trying germall plus and it may or may not work.  Preservation depends on a lot of factors.

    Incidentally, formaldehyde is also found in nature. In fact, it's found inside your own body & is a crucial chemical in biochemistry
  • edited March 2017
    To clarify my stance here.

    It is not a case of me personally disapproving formaldehyde or IPBC or phenoxyethanol or benzoic acid or parabens  or anything else. It is what customers and the buying public have been (in many cases) brainwashed into believing by the vast number of extremist websites, blogs, general misinformation sources and which, far from being dismissed for the "fake news" ( to use a vogue term) that they are and are taken into an increasingly generally perceived position that all cosmetics are bad for mankind.
  • I agree johnb people have been brainwashed, they tend to stigmatize some ingredients without the proper information just because they herd it or read it somewhere else not knowing the scientific point of view. Sadly some customers have become fanatics. This is why some of us formulaters tend to stay away from some ingredients. "The client is always right".
  • As someone better stated, "The client is not always right, but the client is always the client." Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • lol true statement @Microformulation.
  • Sometimes I think we overestimate the mind of the consumer and the power of the Internet. 

    If you just use the Internet as a judge of what consumers care about, it's reasonable to conclude that they know and care about preservatives. But if you look at what consumers actually buy, the vast majority of products have preservatives (parabens & formaldehyde donors). The Natural cosmetic market represents about 15% of the market.  That means 85% of the market is just standard cosmetics filled with standard preservatives.

    Consumers might claim they care about preservatives when posting on the Internet but they don't back that up with what they purchase.  
  • True argument Perry.

    Parabens are even found in our food, bet you most of them don't care to look there. Bacteria is way more dangerous than a little preservative which is used at low levels. Some consumers care way to much about synthetic ingredients in there cosmetics, specially in there hair care products, yet what is more synthetic then a MacDonald's burger?! And we eat those all the time.     
  • then a MacDonald's burger?! And we eat those all the time.  

    I don't. Never have. :)

  • Great for your health @john lol! I try to stay away from fast-food, kind of hard though!
  • Very much on topic and recently posted on Prospector. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • Banned ingredients in the EU over 1,300??? Wow that's a lot.

    I think the problem also comes from company's probably not addressing some of these consumer issues or questions and just pleasing them by taking some ingredients out, sure there sales might suffer a bit but I mean maybe if they got the correct answer out of the proper people they would understand better.

    Before I became a personal formulator I was in the shadows about the real information on Parabens, Sulfates and other ingredients that have been overly stigmatize, but I have taken the time over the years to read, so now a days even though I do avoid some ingredients like SLS I have a valid reason and its manly because if I use is it every single day it tends to dry out my curly hair so I alternate my washes with it, but most people don't even now why they avoid some ingredients, they tend to repeat what they hear or read without researching that information from valid sources.  
  • You could use alcohol. That's what the wildcrafting herbalists use. 
  • @Derya
    This is a very old thread, big chance the problem is solved already.
  • Can we add preservatives booster to liquid Germall plus.?
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