Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sedimentary, My Dear

Sediment
at the bottom
Throughout this past summer I have been struggling with the occasional appearance of sediment in my skin tonics. It has been so fine and slight that it wouldn't appear until standing, undisturbed, overnight. The slightest agitation and it would quickly dissapate – only to reappear again after having time to settle. Seeing a brownish substance on the bottom of a freshly-made tonic really kills the buzz of using the product for me. Unacceptable! The detective in me was awakened.

It's One of these 30 Possibilites
Because I am constantly testing different extracts in different combinations (as well as continuing with the tried and true ones), it has taken me most of the summer to pinpoint the culprit. Since all of the hydrosols and extracts were well within date and there was no sign of bacterial activity, it could only be plant residue from one of the 30-odd ingredients I had been working with.

The slightest movement
and it dissapates
As it turned out, it was not a newbie ingredient creating the disturbance, but one of my trusted staples - Marigold extract (INCI: Calendula Officinalis). My supplier readily replaced the ingredient. Alas, the replacement bottle was from the same batch and the problem showed up again. After a long and informative talk with my supplier, my suspicions were confirmed.

Apparantly you can only filter out so much when tapping a plant extract, and the further down the barrel you tap from, the more sediment you risk getting. Not that there's anything wrong with the product – it just doesn't look very good. If I were adding this to a cream, lotion, or anything else with an emulsifier, it woudn't be a problem. But this is a clear liquid in a clear bottle. Unidentified brown stuff in the bottle is just not on – no matter how beneficial to the skin the ingredient is.

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