Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Advanced Questions Preservative Free Lotion

  • Preservative Free Lotion

    Posted by Mary100 on October 23, 2023 at 10:11 am


    There is a company that makes preservative free lotion. The lotion is quite nice and Ph is 3.6.

    Does anyone have an idea about how this lotion can be made preservative free? It is fairly spreadable and absorbs well.



    • Aqua

    • Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter)*

    • Avena sativa (Oat) kernel oil

    • Carthamus tinctorius oleosomes

    • Cetearyl alcohol (Cetearyl alcohol)

    • Coco-glucoside

    • Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil

    • Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) flower oil

    • Cedrus atlantica (Cedarwood) bark oil

    microformulation replied 4 months ago 3 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • PhilGeis

    October 23, 2023 at 10:49 am

    Can you identify the specific product/brand?

    Is there anything unique about the package?

  • Mary100

    October 23, 2023 at 10:54 am

    It’s Rocky Mountain Soap. The lotion is packaged in clear pet bottle with pump.

  • PhilGeis

    October 23, 2023 at 11:14 am

    Sure seems risky. i asked for their justification Let’s see what they say.

  • Mary100

    October 23, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Thank you!

  • PhilGeis

    October 23, 2023 at 11:24 am

    here’s what they said, it’s BS

    Products can be made with zero preservatives (oat lotion) adhering to the following conditions:

    Use 100% sterile raw materials

    Use 100% sterile packaging materials

    Follow strict GMP from start to end, as listed below.

    Design the product as very low water-activity

    Maintain the pH in the 4-6 range

    Use raw materials which act as pseudo-preservatives.

    Minimize human (user contamination).

  • PhilGeis

    October 23, 2023 at 11:48 am

    Hard to see how they “sterilize” and maintain as sterile packaging and raw materials and how thyey consider Aw in context of an emulsion.

    Asked for validation through consumer use - they forward to their product development.

    Let’s see.

  • microformulation

    October 23, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    If you’ve ever worked in sterile processing, you would see that sterile conditions would be impossible to maintain in A Cosmetic Setting. It sounds like they have read a couple of articles on the Hurdle Technique. I would be interested in seeing any testing results. Hopefully, MOCRA will urge people to be more conservative in their risk assessments.


  • PhilGeis

    October 25, 2023 at 10:33 am

    Imagine my surprise!! Ricky Mountain product development never got back with info requested.

    • Mary100

      October 25, 2023 at 11:12 am

      Thanks for trying though. I read that if water activity is below 0.70, preservatives would not be needed. Perhaps this is their approach.

      • PhilGeis

        October 25, 2023 at 3:36 pm

        0.7 prevents growth, does not kill. For emulsions Aw may not matter.

    • microformulation

      October 26, 2023 at 1:44 pm

      I’m not surprised. Someone in the Forum (??) may have spoken to them in the past in a consult call. That someone passed on the work since they were reluctant to take any advice or direction.

Log in to reply.