|What is it?||Geogard® ECT is a liquid natural broad-spectrum preservative.
It is comprised of (source: Arxada):
It is also sold as Preservative Eco, Mikrokill ECT, and Plantaserv M, so be sure to check the INCI on what you’re purchasing.
Geogard® ECT is part of the Geogard® line; the “ECT” is important as the different products within the line all have different INCIs. Other Geogard® products include Geogard Ultra®, Geogard® 221, Geogard® 111S, Geogard® 111A, and Geogard® Boost PHC.
|INCI||Benzyl Alcohol (and) Salicylic Acid (and) Glycerin (and) Sorbic Acid|
|Appearance||Pale yellow liquid|
|pH||Effective from 3–8.
Geogard® ECT will cause the pH of your formulations to drop.
|Solubility||Said to be water soluble, though some have reported challenges with it in entirely hydrous products.|
|Why do we use it in formulations?||Geogard® ECT protects our formulations from microbial spoilage (bacteria, yeast, fungus); I’ve found it to be an effective and easy-to-use natural preservative option.|
|Do you need it?||You should have at least one broad-spectrum preservative; Geogard® ECT is a good choice if you prefer natural preservatives and don’t mind the almondy scent.|
|Refined or unrefined?||Geogard® ECT only exists as a refined product.|
|Strengths||Unlike many natural preservatives, Geogard® ECT has a maximum functional pH range of 8 (most natural preservatives require an acidic pH to function well).
The manufacturer lists lip products as a possible application.
|Weaknesses||Noticeable almondy scent that can get stronger as the formulation ages.
Can cause the pH of a formulation to drop so much that it needs to be raised.
Due to the salicylic acid content, Geogard® ECT cannot be used in products for children under 3 except for shampoo.
If you are using Geogard® ECT to preserve a formulation that contains salicylic acid as a skincare active, the salicylic acid content in the preservative will count towards the maximum allowable concentration of 2%. If we assume Geogard® ECT contains 15% salicylic acid, when used at 1%, the overall formulation will contain 0.15% salicylic acid. This leaves room for 1.85% additional salicylic acid.
|Alternatives & Substitutions||You’ll need another broad-spectrum preservative. Liquid Germall™ Plus is an effective, versatile choice, but it isn’t natural. Natural alternatives include Geogard Ultra™; and Euxyl k 903, though both have a lower effective pH range.|
|How to Work with It||Include Geogard® ECT in the cool down phase of your formulations, and ensure the final pH of the formulation is the in 3–8 range.|
|Storage & Shelf Life||Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Geogard® ECT should last at least a year.|
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks||Looking for a natural way to add an almondy scent to your formulation? Preserve it with Geogard® ECT!|
|Recommended starter amount||30mL (1fl oz)|
|Where to Buy it||Purchase Geogard® ECT from an online DIY ingredient supplier. It can be helpful to do a Google search for the INCI as this product is sold under a variety of names.|