Geogard® ECT

What is it? Geogard® ECT is a liquid natural broad-spectrum preservative.

It is comprised of (source: Arxada):

  • Benzy alcohol: 77–86%
  • Salicylic acid: 8–15%
  • Glycerin: 3–6%
  • Sorbic acid: 1–4%

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
Usage rate 0.6–1%
Scent Almondy/marzipan-y
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.

Some Formulations that Use Geogard® ECT


Posted on

August 29, 2022