If you’ve been following my blog or my youtube tutorials for a while, well, you know that I am deeply convinced that our skin is the one and only measure of our health. But in order to keep our skin looking healthy we have to make sure that our homemade cosmetics are safe for our skin and in order to be sure they are safe for our skin, we have to make sure to preserve them properly.
Every single day we have at hand so many vegetables, fruit, herbs, oils and many other foods that not only may nourish our insides, but also may hydrate, moisturize and beautify us on the outside.
There are still so many people out there not realizing the benefits of natural skin care ingredients, ingredients that one has in his own kitchen or may find at the nearest market.
Our ancestors used natural remedies for skin care for centuries to effectively treat and cure so many skin problems and to slow down the aging process. Unfortunately, year after year we entrusted ourselves to the cosmetic industry which doesn’t always have our best interest at heart.
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you probably already know that I always promote in my posts a healthy lifestyle and a daily nutrition that includes mainly fresh vegetables in order to always attain youthful, radiant skin.
But what if we’re having the healthier lifestyle and then we’re applying on our skin only commercial beauty products full of chemicals, silicons and parabens? Just pay attention, listen to your skin…our skin says everything about us. Whether it’s glowing or pale, oily or dry, our skin says a lot about our physical and emotional state.
I’m not saying we all should prepare our own natural beauty products, but to, at least pay attention and be fully aware of what we are applying onto our skin.
Make smart choices, go for 100% natural products, if organic and certified, even better. If you have the time, the passion, the will…start creating your own cosmetic products! It will not only help you save money, it will also help you avoid all the toxic chemicals and fragrances that can be found in conventional commercial beauty products.
Ok, so we decide to give it a go and make our own cosmetics…but before starting this amazing journey, there are some RULES each person that decides to take this step should know.
Take a look at my below video tutorial on how to make sure that our homemade cosmetics are safe and how to preserve them properly! If you would like to find out in which products you need to use an antioxidant and in which products you have to use a preservative, what you should know when choosing a preservative and other useful information, well this quick video-tutorial will surely be of help:
1. Sterilize your tools and hands
Whether you’re preparing a mask to use immediately or an ointment or balm that should last for months, you have to sterilize your hands and tools to make sure that no bacteria will end up in your products and contaminate them. Therefore wash your hands accurately & sterilize your work surface, your cosmetic tools, bowls and anything else you’re gonna use using pure alcohol (the one with 95% alcohol content will do).
2. Store your beauty homemade products properly
Make sure to always store the products in dark, cool places as products will oxidize and lose their effectiveness, will even go rancid (if made up with a high percentage of oils) when exposed to light and air, so the ideal would be for you to use an opaque and air tight container to store your products. I always prefer using airless containers for my creams and when not using airless containers I make sure to collect the cream with a spatula or a spoon instead of my fingers 😉 ..this, in case I did not use a dispensing bottle which is always better than a jar.
3. Decide whether you go for a small or a big batch
Masks, cleansers or anything else you may prepare which contain fresh ingredients won’t last more than 2-3 days even if stored in your fridge. Therefore if it’s a product made up of perishable ingredients I recommend you to make a single small batch to use it as soon as possible, immediately it’s better, and to avoid storing it for too many days as bacteria, molds are ALIVE, therefore they will grow and develop in all preparations containing water.
When preparing creams, cleansers, toners, it’s better to always consider using a preservative which will prevent the developing of bacteria. I do not think you’ll make a cream or cleanser weekly and even so..it would not be safe not to use a preservative. I, personally always consider when prepping a new “potion” which its usage would be: body, face, eye contour, etc. and if it’s only for me or also for some friends and only afterwards I decide the final quantity. But the preservative is never an option, it’s a MUST.
4. Choose the most appropriate preservative or antioxidant for your product
When deciding which preservative is the most appropriate for your product, there is 1 question you should ask yourself: is there water in my formula? If there is not, then an antioxidant will be enough to preserve your product from going rancid. Usually lip balms, whipped butters, stick balms are made up only of vegetable oils, butters and eventually waxes. No water involved :D. The most used antioxidants are vitamin E and rosemary extract (which will impart its own aroma into your products and will make them smell of rosemary). Adding them to your products will slow down the oxidation process, but don’t forget they are as useful for your skin too. 😉 Remember that antioxidants can’t kill bacteria and molds, should you consider adding them (erroneously) as a preservative in water based cosmetic.
As for the preservatives, I warmly invite you to watch my above video tutorial (should you have not seen it yet ) to see which criteria you should follow when choosing one and what it’s important to consider when using specific preservatives.
Preservatives do extend the shelf life of homemade products and keep them free of bacteria, but remember that preservatives themselves are often unhealthy. Many may cause or promote skin problems, therefore it’s very important to choose them being fully aware of what they are made up of, if they are parabens free and if you care, if they are ecological or not.
Natural preservatives, among which essential oils (such as tea tree, thyme, neem) are considered too, don’t cover a broad spectrum of bacteria and the amounts needed to make them act as a preservative are usually too high and not safe to use in skin care products. If you decide to anyway use them, consider a short shelf life for your products.
4. Label your products
Last but not least, remember to label your products with the date it was prepared and keep at hand the formula you used to make it, with all the ingredients from the highest concentration to the lowest.
What about you? Which preservatives do you use in your cosmetics?
As always, don’t forget to thumb up/ LIKE the above video-tutorial if you found it helpful and informative.
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I’m looking forward to reading your feedbacks and suggestions!! Can’t wait to see you next week with a new beauty food tip!
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