Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Help? Preservative recommended for aerosol spray

  • Help? Preservative recommended for aerosol spray

    Posted by Law on June 19, 2021 at 7:25 am

    What preservative is safe via aerosol (spray bottle) for a DIY hair styling spray with about 8 oz filtered, boiled water, 2 T magnesium sulfate, a drop or so of lavender essential oil & a colorant? 

    I’ve used liquid blue food color (water, glycerine, fd&c blue #1, citric acid, sodium benzote) and also tested it with a pure fd&c blue #1 powder , and have tried several “natural” preservatives that I can list if it helps.. one I recall was linatural? .. but everything I’ve tried ruins the fragrance, and/or separates the colorant. 
    I was trying to keep it simple and “natural” but have since gave up on the idea of so called “natural” preservatives.. I just want it to be considered by experts, “safe” in aerosol form and skin safe (although it’s for the hair) and the preservation system should not separate the colorant.. or ruin the essential oil fragrance .. although I love the fragrance.. I’m even willing to change the fragrance from an essential oil to a fragrance, it is a more stable & safe option.
    The end product works great , smells great, initially but over time due to water content begins to develop some white stringy matter in it & I have to throw it out & start over with a fresh batch. Wasting money & time. The mixture does so well giving a natural body, volume, promotes waves in my soft, limp hair, without feeling sticky or too stiff. It gives my hair the natural body it’s always lacked. 
    I’ll admit, I didn’t realize it was so difficult to figure this out & have thrown away money on too many “natural” preservatives as experiments. I don’t have any chemistry background & don’t have the time to study more about safe formulations. I am a full-time hair stylist though… in the past I’ve read and researched preservatives and ingredients and am finally giving up and asking for Chemists help with making this a shelf stable & safe formulation. 
    I hope I’ve provided the information required to get an answer. 
    Law replied 2 years, 11 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • PhilGeis

    June 19, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Agree - don’t play the “natural preservatives” game.  They’;re typically not natural and less safe because they don’t work - - esp. the absurd one you mentioned.
    Spray might be a better term than aerosol  - it isn’t pressurized.
    Look at similar products from big companies.  I’ve used formaldehyde releaser-based systems but those have bad press.  Try glycols/benzyl alcohol/maybe organic acid if pH works/edta.

  • Law

    June 19, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Phil! Thanks for the comments and information! I will look into this.. do you mind giving name brands of preservatives you think might work with these ingredients? 

    And you’re saying that since the spray is not pressurized then preservatives listed as  “not safe via aerosol” wouldn’t apply? That’s good news as it knocked out everything I’d previously looked into. 

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