Last month, I came up with a lotion/cream recipe that has so far out performed even my wildest expectations! (will write more about that another time) I passed out little samples of it to several of my friends and got rave reviews back! So, I sold some to a few people as well!
Very unexpectedly, 2 peoples developed mold. To be honest, I am completely baffled by this. It wasn't just a bad batch because I had been using some for myself from the same exact batch (I just finished off the container yesterday and it never did go bad). I also STILL have some from the original batch that I made that doesn't even have a hint of molding on it. So, I really can not explain WHY those 2 peoples' turned yucky.
However, in an effort to remedy the problem and deliver a suitable replacement, I dove into the world of preservatives. After much research, I settled on trying Grapefruit Seed Extract as a preservative. It's not the cheapest, but I believe it is closest to my natural way of providing good quality products as possible. It is paraben free, formaldehyde free, triclosen free. It's made from the crushed seeds and pulp of grapefruit.
I read several reviews on Grapefruit Seed Extract talking about it's lack of effectiveness, and how it was NOT a natural product. In a review and test of effectiveness, it was found that not all GSE's actually work. Some of them are simply not effective, so it's important to get one from a reputable seller. Be sure to buy from a place that has been tested for effectiveness and it's preservative properties are true. Like From Nature with Love.
Also, I'd like to address the concerns that I read about it not being a natural product. I read a lot of outrage that it was not "natural" because of the process by which it is made. Often times during the process of extracting, it gets introduced to chemicals like benzethonium chloride, or parabens. However, it is possible to get a good quality GSE that has been tested and does not have that junk in it. And that is exactly what I did. Here's a link to the exact product I purchased.
And finally, I found no other, better, more natural, preservative. One that TRULY works. The ingredients of which I make my stuff with, are not cheap. They are not common, everyday, ingredients. I put a lot of research and thought into my products. I can't afford to take chances that maybe it won't mold next time. Or maybe it will and I'll need to replace it again. Therefore, I must preserve my awesomeness. :)
For my friends, I'm happy to make stuff and forego the preservative as long as you are willing to accept that it may mold, and not hold me accountable to replace it. I put on my original body cream recipe that it did not have preservatives and I was not sure of how long it would last. I did that even before the mold happened, because I was uncertain how it would hold up, and I didn't want to have to replace it, but when it actually happened, I decided that I wanted to preserve my reputation of providing a quality product. Because I believe the stuff that I make is "da bomb"! :) And I don't feel right about just saying, "Aww....too bad!" Cause that would suck if it were me buying a product that didn't live up to it's expectations. BUT! If you tell me you do not want preservative in your product, please do not ask me to replace it if it goes bad. Ok? You must be willing to accept that possibility. :) The other alternative would be to possibly make it yourself. That's a suitable solution too!
So, there ya go. You'll start to see Grapefruit Seed Extract in some of my recipes and this is why. :)