Shampoo preservation - in Bolivia - lost and confused!

Hello all you wonderful folks,
Here's the story: I work with a small women's association in a teeny town outside of Sucre, Bolivia. The association produces a variety of products with medicinal plant derivatives and some of their most popular products are shampoos. They currently make 3 different types.

These are the recipes:
Eucalyptus
Water 67%
Texapon N70 12%
Betaine 12%
Euperlan PK 3000 7%
Sodium benzoate .1%
Methyl paraben .1%
Potassium sorbate .1%
Propil paraben .1%
Sodium cloride .6%
Citric acid .1%
Eucalyptus essential oil .2%

Molle
Water 67%
Texapon 12%
Betaine 12%
Glycerine 7%
Sodium benzoate .1%
Methyl paraben .1%
Potassium sorbate .1%
Propil paraben .1%
Sodium chloride .6%
Molle essential oil .2%

Chamomile
Water 63%
Texapon 12%
Betaine 12%
Chamomile Glycerite 10%
Glycerine 1%
Sodium benzoate .1%
Methyl paraben .1%
Potassium sorbate .1%
Propil paraben .1%
Sodium chloride .6%

My job is to revise the recipes that were created years ago and determine if things can be improved. I'm a herbalist and my skills are much more related to plant extract production and formulation, not shampoo preservation!

Generally speaking, I am trying to re-work the recipes so that they do not contain sulfates or parabens but sourcing in Bolivia is proving to be super difficult. I have found glucosides but the association would need to import from Chile, which will be expensive. That's a side note though.

**Here's my biggest problem.** Even though ideally we would like to ditch the parabens, in the meantime we need to keep producing shampoos. At the moment, I cannot find any companies that source parabens here in Bolivia. So production has come to a halt. The provider that the association was sourcing from is no longer carrying them. Even those in Peru only sell in gigantic industrial quantities, which the association can't really afford/won't use before they expire. I have searched all around for other types of preservatives: Germall, Fenoxiethanol, Leucidal, etc. but I can't find anything available or it's in Argentina and incredibly expensive (with the conversion to Bolivianos).

The one other preservative I HAVE found is benzyl alcohol. It would need to be imported from Chile but at this point it may be the only option. Would that be sufficient alongside sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate? (Because from what I understand, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate are not enough on their own in terms of antibacterial action. Unless this is incorrect).

Anyway, what I am wondering is if anyone has suggestions on the benzyl alcohol or other preservatives/sourcing in Bolivia (who knows, maybe you have been in the same boat as me!?! Ha!)

I would super appreciate any information that anyone can offer! Fingers crossed.


Comments

  • johnbjohnb Member
    As you seem to be able to obtain BASF materials (Texapon & Euperlan), have you enquired of the supplier of those if they also supply BASF preservatives (Bronidox is phenoxyethanol) or any others. Sodium benzoate and gluconodeltalactone is being pushed at the moment as a good preservative. I have not used it but it may be worth investigating. Sold as Geogard Ultra but you could add it as separate ingredients. There is a similar mix which additionally contains calcium gluconate.

    Please don't be too quick to dismiss sulfate based detergents. Most, if not all, of the bad press about these has be created by scaremongering Internet busybodies who have no real knowledge of anything except how to generate disquiet. I could make similar commetns about parabens where all the panic generated about these is based on some deeply flawed research carried out in the UK and, typical of these things, all further research pointing out these flaws has been dismissed as incorrect.
  • I will ask the supplier about Bronidox. When I refer to it as phenoxyethanol they say they cannot get it but maybe they will recognize it under this name.

    I will also inquire about geogard ultra!

    I appreciate the info on the sulfates and parabens as well. Thanks for the feedback! 
  • If you set the pH to 5 and use 0.4% sodium benzoate you won't need anything else. If you go sulphate-free expect your production cost to double. There is no point.
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  • johnbjohnb Member
    Remember you can make your own sodium benzoate/gluconolactone mix.
  • You should be able to pass preservation with 1% benzyl alcohol alone if PH is 7--9
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