Experiences with Leucidal Liquid (as a natural preservative) in creams and lotions

lkaticlkatic Member
edited October 2014 in Formulating
Hello everyone,
I am a small shop formulator and make natural lotions/ creams. The emulsions are generally basic - distilled water, rose hydrosol, shea butter, coconut oil, polawax NF and grapefruit seed extract.
Recently, I have started testing with Leucidal liquid (made by Active micro technologies). I add this at 2% in the cool down phase, with GSE.

My normal lotions dry (on spatula or edge of airtight container) in an off white colour.

I've noticed that the lotions made with leucidal liquid using the procedure above, dry with a slight pinkish/ rose tint. This is a chemical change and not sign of  microbial due to the uniform colouring. 
That concerns me a little bit and I am wondering whether additional minerals are present in leucidal liquid

Does anyone have any ideas on why this might be happening and what can be done to prevent/ fix?



  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    edited October 2014
    Could be a component acting as an indicator. What pH is the emulsion? I've noticed something similar using tea extract. By the way, grapefruit seed extract is not a recognised or effective preservative. 
    The web site states: While it has only a slight odor, it will impart some color to clear cosmetic products, although it is still possible to formulate "white" emulsions.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Hello there,
    the Ph is 6, and Leucidal is supposed to be quite stable and active between 3 and 8. How can I confirm whether a component is acting as an indicator…?

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    edited October 2014
    Try adding the Leucidal to the rose hydrosol and see if a colour change occurs. Many organic solutions change colour with pH - such as red cabbage! But I wouldn't worry, the colour sounds fine anyway.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • MakingSkincareMakingSkincare Member, Professional formulator
    edited October 2014
    Leucidal has been discussed in this forum in the past and I'm afraid the chemists here (including myself) didn't really have anything positive to say about it.
    Don't forget there is much more to effective preservation than just adding a preservative.
    1. Minimise sources of energy for microbial growth (aka "bug food") - eg fruit, botanicals, tea, lecithin, mineral water, milk of any kind, honey, hydrosols, floral waters, aloe vera, extracts, protein, clay, powders, starches etc - reduce these to a tiny % (eg 0.1%). This is very important. 
    2. Double check against this webpage whether your preservative is truly broad spectrum -http://makingskincare.com/preservatives/
    3. Add glycerin and other polyols
    4. Add 0.2% disodium EDTA into the heated water phase
    5. Switch to packaging which the customer can't contaminate easily - jars are the worst for contamination. 
    6. Reduce the pH to between 4 and 5 if possible (depending on your formulation).
    7. Sanitise your equipment with 70% IPA
    8. Use distilled, deionised or purified water, not tap/faucet or mineral water
    9. If your water hasn't been micro checked, do heat and hold your water phase at 75c/167f for 20 minutes - this will kill some of the non-endospore forming bacteria. (If your preservative can withstand heat put it in the heated water phase rather than the heated oil phase. This improves preservative contact with the water phase so that it is not partitioned in the water-oil interface).
    10. If possible micro test all of your raw materials.
    12. Don't rely on sight, smell - one can put 100,000 bacteria into a milliliter of water and the water will appear to the naked eye to be crystal clear and usually won't smell bad. Most cosmetics tested have counts ranging into the tens of thousands or millions of cells per milliliter have subtle or no aesthetic differences from sterile samples. The only way to know if your preservative system is working is to get it tested.
    Jane Barber
    www.learncosmeticformulation.com (free online course)
    Formulation discussion forum (18,000 members): www.facebook.com/groups/makingskincare/
  • Great, thanks for this feedback. This is really informative.
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