Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Raw material expiry and preservatives

  • Raw material expiry and preservatives

    Posted by Mel55 on July 17, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    I have a problem that has been discussed across the forum previously and the posts have been very helpful. I have a lot of ingredients that have just passed the expiry date set by the supplier. I can only order high volumes at expensive freight so seem to have a lot of stuff that has expired or is about to. Anything that looks or smells bad I discard regardless of the expiry date. 

    I only formulate for myself with the occasional shampoo or body wash for friends who assume the risk!

    I have just a couple of questions I’m hoping experienced formulators can assist with. I have a large amount of these ingredients that expired in June: SLeS, Cocoamide MEA,
    Cetearyl alcohol, Stearic acid and SCI. 

    From what I have read in the forum, ideally I would be testing these products for safety but as a home crafter I don’t have the resources to do that. If there is no change in colour or odour then they are probably okay for personal use but I assume that risk.  Mostly I use the SLeS, Cetearyl alcohol and Stearic acid. Is there anything in particular I should be wary of with these ingredients having just expired?

    My other question is about preservation. I have read one suggestion to double the preservative. I usually use the maximum amount of preservative but have always thought that too much preservative is a bad thing. Do I double the maximum amount (when the recommended rate of liquid germall plus is 0.1 - 0.5%).

    Many thanks in advance.


    Anonymous replied 3 years, 7 months ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • oldperry

    July 17, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    If any of those ingredients are solids, I wouldn’t worry about the expiration date passing. Cetearyl Alcohol and Steric Acid aren’t going to break down significantly in solid form. For the liquids, as long as there are no big color or odor changes, they’re also probably fine. 

  • Mel55

    July 18, 2020 at 3:41 am

    Excellent thanks Perry. 

  • ngarayeva001

    July 19, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    @Perry, thank you, it’s very useful! Shall I assume the same about polymers in powdered form (carbomers, pvp etc)

  • oldperry

    July 20, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    @ngarayeva001 - yes, although some polymers can absorb water from the air which may lead to microbial contamination. So, I wouldn’t be as confident about those types.  However, this is still a low probability event.

  • NeilL

    July 21, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    The other issue with carbomers is when they absorb water their weight increases. This means you end up putting less in but depending on addition size and batch quantities it shouldn’t have a major impact. Lubrizol recommended doing a Loss on drying for their product to me and recommended if that was above 2% I should dry the product prior to weighing.

  • Anonymous

    July 23, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    @Perry and others that might now - any concern with using these ingredients about 2 weeks out of the delivery date 2 years ago? 
    dl-Panthenol, Ethoxydiglycol, Ferulic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, L-Ascorbic Acid, Laureth-23, Liquid Germall Plus, Propylene Glycol, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols 95%)

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