Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Can I skip using preservatives until I figure out the rest of my formulation?

  • Can I skip using preservatives until I figure out the rest of my formulation?

    Posted by domicanica on December 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Hello all, I’m wondering if I can formulate without preservatives simply for experimental purposes. I want to make a body wash and body lotion and I want to play around with different surfactants, thickeners, emulsifiers, oils, butters etc to compare different ingredients and see which ones yield the results I want. My issue is, I didn’t order enough of the preservative I’m using and I’m located outside the US so to go back and place an order for that one ingredient and to have to pay for shipping to where I am is going to be a bit much and I’d like to avoid that if possible.

    I know the risks of not using a preservative but I’m not selling these or sharing them with anyone else right now so I don’t need the formulas to have long shelf lives I’m really just trying to figure out which ingredients will be the most effective for what I’m trying to accomplish. For example I may make 5 different formulas where the only difference between them is which emulsifier or thickener I use.

    Thanks in advance :)

    ggpetrov replied 3 years, 5 months ago 5 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • PhilGeis

    December 27, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Be aware - some preservatives can affect voscosity and color.  So you may need to recycle ln some development matters.

  • domicanica

    December 27, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you so much for replying. You’re saying that potentially, after I do figure out my “final formula” and then add the preservative I might have to go back and make tweaks to accommodate for the change?

  • Graillotion

    December 27, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    One of my most valuable tools for me, has been a row of small clear bottles in a sunny window.  This is various generations of lotion, and experiments.  Some fell apart over time, and others look pristine after 10-11 months in a sunny window.  Information that you cannot buy!  Only of value if you mark the bottles with some sort of formula coding.
    Therefore…the 3 cents of preservative it took, is well worth while to simulate an actual product.   And to second what Phil said….they change a product!  You will never know when you have the texture you want, if you are not working will a full deck.

  • Cafe33

    December 27, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    You can play with some ingredients and formulations leaving some things out like preservatives. It allowed me to learn quite a bit about different ingredients.  It will be limited as far as figuring out your final formula as you put it. Things can change drastically with one ingredient change especially viscosity. I found knockout experiments much more useful in figuring out final formulations.

  • ggpetrov

    December 27, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Hello, the simplest answer is - no! As the others already said, the preservatives are also an active part of the emulsions as the others components, so you can’t skip them just like that. I think if you are using some kind of parabens you can skip them, as far as I know, they don’t affect the viscosity of the emulsions. Maybe also the Phenoxyethanol, but i am not completely sure. So, what kind of preservative do you use? If you live in Europe, there’s a plenty of places you could buy some cosmetic ingredients.

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