Why Do I Prefer to Make Safe Product (99% Natural) Rather than 100% Natural Product.

Thursday, 23 August 2018


Many asked me this question so let me clarify this.

First and foremost you need to understand this: im a pharmacist, not a self claimed naturalist which means that with the science knowledge i have, and years of experience; im obligated by my code of ethics to always want to create a product that is safe. 

Safe to the product itself in terms of shelf life, and safe when used on all kind of skin (normal or ‘broken’ skin). 

Whenever i formulate a product; my first priority is what the product will do to the user's skin and body. Is the molecules small enough to pass the skin barrier? Is it water or oil soluble and if it does pass the skin barrier; will it be transported in the body via blood or fats? if fats will it be excreted out of the body fast? How long will it be in one's body? what are the possible side effects if it stays in the body for a long time? What age groups will get problem like this etc. (Yes its not easy but ive got to figure all those out). 

I dont only think about the product and 'what the internet says is good for skin'. Im not train to do only that. I only do what the real science says. 


Due to that; even after loving natural ingredients, i’ve realized that some ingredients just cant be compromised. You still got to add some sort of synthetic chemicals to make sure the product is safe in terms of shelf life, and also when applied to skin.

British Pharmacopoeia: A monographs of ingredients compiled since 1864
Of course since i do a thorough research about the ingredients in my British Pharmacopoeia (my favorite formulation book thats used for years in pharmaceutical medicine development) ill make sure that these synthetic ingredients are safe too.

One of the perfect example is preservatives.

There is no natural preservatives to date! Vitamin E, Grapeseed Oil, Tea tree oil are not preservatives! They are anti oxidant. Which means they keep your oils in your skincare from getting rancid (smelly) but it doesn’t help the water part in your skincare which is where most bacteria and mold ‘lives’. I dont know why the internet says otherwise. Its also common sense! Water and oil dont mix! So how do you think these ‘oils’ will kill the bacteria and molds in the water!

Ive written indepth about this before here and here. So do check it out if you want to know more.

The next ingredient that is contreversial is emulsifiers. 

Believe me ive tried but somehow natural emulsifiers like guar gum and acasia, xanthan gum etc isnt stable (the oils and water will separate over time). So unless you want to mix everytime before use; its better to use emulsifiers that are more stable in room temperature.  Btw; beeswax is not an emulsifier; its hardener. Two different things. It mayb work for a while but over time; water and oil will separate too. My suggestion for this is if you are making for selling; use the synthetic ones, while if you are making for home use; you can do whichever you want;)

The third contreversial ingredient is fragrance oil and essential oil. Many people wants their product to have essential oil because of the benefits. Which is good. However, many wants their product to have nice smell too. Sadly; if you are using pure potent essential oils; you cannot put a lot into your products. Like medicine; essential oils have doses too. And unfortunately most essential oil ‘safe dose’ almost never gives you strong nice finished product (depending on the eo itself). And so to be safe; i usually advice one to use fragrance oil. Just for the scent purpose. Fragrance oil have a fair share of negative remarks about it since many confuses the ‘aromatheraphy candle making fragrances (that has tons of alcohol) with skinsafe fragrances (thats oil based). Use only skinsafe fragrances, and if possible go for phtlate free fragrances like the ones we have in SoapLab Here

Another reason why im pro fragrances is because essential oils have been shown to be not safe for babies. Ive done few meta analysis from previous studies (compiled) and so you can read more about it here

Again all these is what i feel as a pharmacist, and an educator of handmade products. Since its handmade its up to you to make and add whatever you want;) the only thing i would advice though is if you are going to sell your product, be a responsible seller and educate yourself about it. 

You can always contact us if you have any problems or doubts. Our customer service are always available to guide you in anyway we could:) 

10 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post, Nisha. I tend to agree with the preservatives part. It is better to put a little to make the product safe, rather than go without and goodness knows what will happen!

    I would love to read more of your articles like this...and the reason you put in a particular ingredient and leave another out. It is fascinating and just goes to show that really we do not know nearly enough!


    This para that you wrote is really intriguing and an example that we really do not know enough about size of molecules or particles, how it goes into the skin, etc. If you ever have a class about that, I would love to listen! :-) Thank you, Nisha and team!

    "Whenever i formulate a product; my first priority is what the product will do to the user's skin and body. Is the molecules small enough to pass the skin barrier? Is it water or oil soluble and if it does pass the skin barrier; will it be transported in the body via blood or fats? if fats will it be excreted out of the body fast? How long will it be in one's body? what are the possible side effects if it stays in the body for a long time? What age groups will get problem like this etc. (Yes its not easy but ive got to figure all those out)."

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    Replies
    1. thank you ena. yes will find more time to write more about this:-)

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  2. nisha thank you thank you thank you. this is what we want as you are the expert in this and you can advise us more on what is safe and not safe as we always wanted safe products to the customers. please write more of this in the future and again thank you very much.

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  3. That’s great info Nisha. Thanks for sharing all these. One question I have though is that EO have no product information. We have no info where it is from, whether it contains preservatives(which i suspect it does) or stabilisers and if so, what sort. That will be good information for makers so that we can choose what to use and inform our customers of the content if needed...esp those with allergy to certain preservatives or ingredients.
    Joanne

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  4. Hello Nisha. Im just curious about this 100% organic soaps and some soaps even stated that they add NaOH, to make the soap. And this is clearly chemicals. Does it really required to add NaOH or do they have other options? Thanks in advance.

    Regards
    Amir

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    Replies
    1. Hi amir. Well soaps without naoh or koh are soaps made using surfactants tht are very harsh. Naoh is actually naturally sourced:) ive written an article about it here: http://www.soaplabmalaysia.com/2017/08/what-is-lye-is-it-natural.html?m=1

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