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Do You Really Want Base Concentrates?

07/03/09

  11:00:00 am by Blogger, Categories: Formulating, Personal Care Trends

Other wholesale suppliers have, recently, generated a great deal of interest in bulk bases that are created for the specific purpose of customization by the customer. We are told that some of these bases being offered can be diluted by up to 99% with no additional preservative, and they've asked us to do the same. We thought long, and hard, about this and decided that not only is this something that we can not do, but that we needed to share the reasons with everyone as we believe that this kind of product is not in the best interest of the customer.

We could easily create a formula that could handle the addition of 99% more ingredients by the customer, however, before we create any new base we ask several questions: one of the first questions we have to ask is whether, or not, it is a product that is going to serve a purpose through it's use and whether, or not, we can do it safely. Science often forgets to ask the most important question:


JUST BECAUSE WE CAN DO IT · DOES THAT MEAN WE SHOULD DO IT?

IN THIS CASE WE SAY NO · WE SHOULDN'T


Within every base there are going to be those ingredients that serve the purpose of the product, i.e., moisturizing, exfoliating, drying.... and there are going to be those ingredients that don't serve the purpose but have to be included to complete the product, i.e., stabilization, emulsification, preservation...the conscientious formulator will utilize to a higher degree those ingredients that serve the purpose and minimize those ingredients that complete the product. Even though the completions ingredients are chosen for their safety, as well as for their compatibility, they are still ingredients that you would not be using if you didn't have to because they don't contribute anything beneficial to the purpose of the product. This is especially true for preservatives. We love to use Aspen Bark Extract to preserve our Nature Line because it does contribute some beneficial elements, it's smoothing to the skin, it is pore refining and very helpful to anyone suffering from clogged pores and acne and so on....but, the reality is that we are using it to complete the formula so we will only use it at the level that it needs to used at to be effective. We put our products through rigorous testing to be sure that we “Optimize” the preservative level for every product, meaning that we will use the preservative at the maximum recommended amount and test it for efficacy just to make sure that the preservative that we've chosen is effective for that application, if it is effective we will reduce it to the lowest recommended amount and test it again, if it comes back clean all we know is that it prevented any contamination at that time so we'll bench the sample and test it again in 6 months, 12 months and 18 months. If at any point it grows anything we know that we have to increase the preservative or use the previous test as the shelf date, if it was not effective then we increase by half of the difference and start the whole process over again until we've reached the point where we're using only what we have to to offer a safe, effective product that will last for the time frame we wanted to offer with that product. So, you can see why we would struggle with the idea of a base that you could add 99% water , or water based ingredients to, and not jeopardize the preservative. It would mean that the base is preserved at twice the level that it needs and that if you didn't add 99% water, or water based ingredients, you would be using a product, seriously, overloaded in a preservative that is not only not serving the purpose of the product but is not good for you or your skin.

The manufacturers of preservatives are very careful to thoroughly test their reservatives for minimum and maximum usage levels so that they can pass that information on the their customers, your suppliers, to ensure their safe use, within those guidelines. If they say that the preservative is effective between the range of .75 and 1.5, and that the amount needed will depend on the ingredient challenge and formulation challenge to the preservative...

How do we create a base that is adequately preserved, that base being 199% (our starting 100% and the additional 99% that we tell you that you can add) without doubling the maximum usage amount to know that it can handle the 99% water, or water based ingredients, that you'll be adding?

We couldn't because.....
If we went with the maximum amount of 1.5% and then the customer added 99% water you'd drop your preservative down to .75% which we couldn't be sure is effective because we don't know what you'll be adding...in which case the product may not be effectively preserved and the customer could end up with carcinogenic mold, fungus or infectious bacteria. VERY BAD!

On the other hand...
If we do use the preservative, above the manufacturers suggested usage rate, at 3%...and I don't know what we'd have to be thinking to do that...we would know that it will be fine no matter what you added, but what if you only added 40% water, or water based ingredients... then you would be using a product that is preserved at 2.15%, 0.65% above the safe limit of the preservative. EVEN WORSE!

All this being said, almost all of our bulk bases can handle additional water , and oil, based ingredients without challenging the stability of the base, but we recommend that you add the appropriate amount of the same preservative used in that base. So go ahead and customize but make sure that it's safe by keeping the preservative at the correct level.

This is especially true of our Nature Line of moisturizers and cleansers. We have many customers who call for help with the preservative so that they can add additional extracts or oils. In some cases they are adding 60% hydrosol to their creams to make them thinner, but they are also adding the correct amount of preservative to make sure that it is adequately preserved and safe for use.


JUST BECAUSE WE CAN DOESN'T MEAN WE SHOULD
WHICH MEANS WE WON'T


OUR FIRST PRIORITY IS DELIVERING A SAFE, EFFECTIVE PRODUCT BECAUSE STAYING IN BUSINESS MEANS MAKING WISE DECISIONS THAT GENERATE REVENUE WHILE SERVING THE NEEDS OF THE CUSTOMER EVEN IF THAT MEANS HAVING TO SAY NO! WE CAN'T DO THAT



We've had so many requests for this type of product and as much as we'd love to give our customers what they want, especially when they specifically ask for it, we can't see a way to do this and stay within our philosophy of offering products that are safe and effective because we care what you put on your skin as much as you care what you put on your skin. We hope that our customers can understand why we can't be accommodating in this matter.

We are facing an epidemic of skin health issues. There are many experts who believe that two biggest contributing factors are the overuse of anti-biotics and anti-bacterials in skin care. Your skin is an organ and performs very specialized, specific, functions..one of the most important of which is the defense against invading bacteria, fungus and mold which it can't do as efficiently when it is overexposed to preservatives, especially those not intended for use in personal care.

Natural, or not, the first question we ask is “is it good for the skin”?

HAPPY CRAFTING

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