How Formulating with Honey, Clay, Water and NO Preservative is Possible
Today we're going to look at a cosmetics formula that might seem to defy normal formulating logic – a honey and clay mask that not only contains water, but has NO preservative added.
You: That's impossible! It would be a teeming mass of bacteria and microbes in a second and could never ever pass a challenge test.
That's a perfectly understandable knee-jerk reaction.
But guess what.
This honey and clay mask passed challenge testing.
Want to know how? Read on to get the dirt! (little teensy pun intended)
The Clay and Honey MaskCosmetic chemist and Realize Beauty blogger Amanda Foxon-Hill created her 'Simple Honey and Clay Mask' formula (link below) last December for one of her cosmetics-making workshops.
The formula includes:
- food (honey)
- water (or other liquid as desired)
- no preservative
She then proceeded to ship the mask off to be challenge tested.
But How?Because of the way this formula is designed, it is self-preserving. Read: there is no need to add preservative.
How is it even possible to create a self-preserving formula?
The answer lies not in one thing, but in several things, and the method is called hurdle technology.
Hurdle technology involves using a combination of techniques to control (or completely eliminate) pathogens from a product.
In short, necessary 'hurdles' are 'placed' to successfully inhibit unwanted organisms.
It might involve heat-treating some ingredients prior to use, using specific combinations of ingredients, employing a particular set of methods during production, keeping a specific pH, and can even include the packaging (think airless containers or containers where the product is pumped out and not exposed directly to fingers during use).
Hurdle technology has its roots in the food industry.
It would be awesome if there was a 'one-size-fits-all' way of employing hurdle technology to our cosmetics formulas but unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way.
If you're interested in learning a bit more about hurdle technology, check the links below.
Meantime, find Amanda's self preserving Clay and Honey Mask right here.
Do TellHave you ever employed hurdle technology in your formulations? Were you successful? Please share in a comment below.
Find More InfoRealize Beautys Post on Overpreserving with her Honey and Clay Mask Formula
Preserving Botanical Formulations Naturally- Part 1 - Botanical Formulations
Preserving Botanical Formulations Naturally Part 2 - Botanical Formulations
How is this Formulation Preserved? - Formula Botanica
Hurdle Technology (wikipedia)
Effect of Hurdle Technology (pubMed)
Principles and Applications of Hurdle Technology (SpringerLink)
Hurdle Technology (sample chapters)
Overpreserving - As bad as Underpreserving (this blog)
Why Honey Never Goes Bad (this blog)
How to Sterilize Clay for Your Cosmetics (this blog)