Does Balm Require Preservative?

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


hi good morning.

today i’ll be talking about lip balms or any balm ingredients and wether we will need to put preservatives in these products?


Today; we will go further into preservation for balms.

First let’s take a look at the formulations for the balm; which usually consists of butters, oils, beeswax, flavouring oil, mica colors.

As you can see; there is no water phase inside. ie nothing with ‘water’ inside; therefore it doesn’t require any preservation. So lets take a look on what possibly could go wrong with lip balm and lets try to 'protect' it:

Rancid

Since there are oils in lip balm and it can get rancid; you can add an antioxidant to reduce the rancidity. Adding 0.5% of vitamin E will be able to prolong the shelf life of the balm to additional of 2 months. 

Be careful to not add more than 0.5% of Vitamin E if you are using it as antioxidant as vitamin e works to protect the ‘oils’ against rancidity  by ‘sacrificing itself’ first. it means it will become rancid first and only then the other oils will get rancid. If you put too much of vitamin E; those will get rancid similarly and will make the product go bad much earlier than its suppose to. So stick to 0.5%

Molds

Besides that; to prolong the shelf life; make sure the containers you use the balms are ‘airtight’. Many balms containers in Malaysia (the stick ones especially) doesn’t ‘close’ well. 

So sometimes; the humidity from air sneaks into the balm to the product; making it moody on top. It doesn’t mean the whole product is spoilt though. only the surface because of the packaging design. 

So if this happens; you know its your container and not your product that is bad. So change the containers. 

Even though the stick balms looks ‘nice’ to have; practically getting the container/jar balms have much better shelf life. Adding a preservatives here wouldn’t make much of a difference. 

White Spots/ Stearic Spots:


Sometimes after few days of making; you will notice your balms has white spots. You may think it’s molds but it’s not. It’s a phenomenon called the ‘stearic spots. it usually happens when you add too ‘much’ of oils/ butters containing stearic acid (like cocoa, shea, palm). 

If this happens; it just means that your balm didn’t ‘cool’ down evenly and so the crystals within the fatty acids in the oils have migrated. If these happens; just remelt your balm and let it cold down in a fridge. 

Hope this article helps..

p/s: click here for all recipes with lip balm and balm.

Thank you for reading and if you have any thoughts; please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment;

Thank you for reading;

Nisha

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