When it comes to skincare, many of us wonder about the ingredients contained in these formulas. Commercial brands can feature high-powered actives but then blend them with chemical preservatives. Synthetic skincare can strip away our skin’s natural protective oils, leaving it exposed to a reaction. The skin’s pH balance and acid mantle can also be disrupted.
That’s why natural skincare is something consumers are demanding these days. They want control of the ingredients being applied to their skin and are choosing to make homemade skincare products.
When creating natural formulations, skincare shelf life is something you need to keep in mind for maintaining purity and effectiveness.
1. Keep it super-clean
Natural skincare experts recommend only placing your homemade skincare creams, lotions and serums into clean and sterilised containers. If you buy new jars, amber glass bottles or tins, also make sure to wash and dry them first. Try rinsing them with white vinegar.
Pump dispensers are excellent for homemade soaps, lotions, etc. because skin and water contact are easy to avoid. These containers also make it easier to get a metered-dose, enabling you to reduce product waste and avoid the risk of contamination.
2. Preserve it naturally
Every homemade skincare formula needs some kind of ingredient that helps maintain its freshness and potency. Oxidation is the enemy to all skincare products. It occurs as a chemical reaction exposing oxygen to natural ingredients.
Avoid oxidation by adding anti-oxidants when making your creams and serums because they’re a natural means for extending the product’s shelf life. A couple of these include vitamin E oil and rosemary extract oil. If making oil-based formulas, blending in an anti-oxidant helps prevent rancidity.
Anti-microbials also extend the skincare shelf life of your natural beauty products because they destroy forms of bacteria. Use grapefruit seed extract, sage, sandalwood or tea tree essential oil in your homemade formulas.
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3. Distil or boil it
Don’t use tap water when your skincare recipe calls for water. You want to boil the water first or use distilled water to avoid any possible contamination.
Examples of water-based recipes include those which feature aloe vera, witch hazel extract, vegetable glycerin, hydrosols, etc.
4. Store it properly
Where you place your homemade beauty products also matters. Generally speaking, sunlight is a wonderful thing, but not when it comes to your natural skincare formulas because exposure to its brightness and heat can begin to degrade the ingredients.
To extend your skincare shelf life, skincare experts recommend storing your jars and bottles in a cool, dark, dry place. Water-based formulas maintain their efficacy in a refrigerator where the cold temperature delays the growth of bacteria.
Also, always make sure the lids or caps are on tight.
5. Food-grade alcohol
Alcohol is another very good ingredient that maintains the freshness and integrity of homemade beauty products, but not every alcohol is good for your skin. The bad synthetic guys include ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol and methanol and can cause irritation, dryness and even breakouts when used in relatively large quantities in a formulation.
The appropriate alcohol as a natural preservative is pure, food-grade alcohol, such as ethyl alcohol derived from sugar cane sources, and makes a nice base when creating your own facial creams and moisturisers. Organic food-grade alcohol is an effective carrier when placed into your formulas. It delivers zero oil residue, and skin feels immediately soft and supple when it is blended into a homemade beauty product.
Most of us want a clear, radiant and ageless complexion from head-to-toe and to avoid synthetic skincare products. Making our own skincare formulas is fun and worth it, but enhancing the shelf life is an important step in maintaining their stability and integrity.
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