I often receive emails from readers asking for more information on the shelf-life of the natural skin care recipes on this website.
This is an important consideration as none of these recipes contain preservatives, unlike many commercial products on the market.
Each recipe is different, depending on the individual ingredients used. To start with however, you should follow a few simple guidelines around hygiene:
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before making any of the recipes.
- Ensure all of the equipment and utensils you are using is clean as well as the bench space you intend to prepare the recipes on.
- Avoid dipping your fingers into containers as this can introduce foreign germs.
- Use a small spatula, cotton bud or other clean implements for the purposes of measuring out raw ingredients and mixing.
- If you intend on making aromatherapy recipes often, consider having a separate set of utensils specifically for this purpose, such as measuring spoons, measuring cups, jugs, spatulas, bowls, and mixers.
- Choose non-aluminium saucepans such as enamel, Pyrex or stainless steel. Some ingredients such as lemon juice can react with aluminium.
- Use scrupulously clean jars and containers to store your products in with tight-fitting lids.
Assuming you are vigilant with your hygiene as outlined above, below is an indication of the shelf-life for the different types of natural skin care recipes:
- Recipes containing raw ingredients such as eggs, fresh herbs, yoghurt, fruits and vegetables are recommended to be made in small batches and used the day you prepare them or no longer than 3 days if stored in the fridge.
- Moisturizers, creams and lotions can be kept for up to 1 month or 2-3 months if stored in the fridge.
- Facial clay masks should be used within 2 weeks and stored in the fridge. If they dry out, freshen with distilled or filtered water.
- Shower gels can be kept for up to 3 months.
- Facial oils will keep for up to 6 months. It is recommended to refrigerate them unless they contain Jojoba which will solidify if stored in the fridge.
- Sterilize your jars and containers for products you intend to store for longer periods.
- Always label your products with the name and date you made them.
- Store your products in a cool, dark and dry area.
- To prolong the shelf-life of creams and moisturizers, consider using a spatula or cotton bud each time you apply them rather than using your fingers.
- Any products stored in the fridge should be kept separate from food, for example in a salad crisper or in a large plastic box.
- If a recipe contains water you should always use filtered or distilled water and never tap water.
- If a product smells bad or off, discard it immediately. Bacteria and mould can be harmful and once a product has spoiled there is no way to recover it.
Did I miss any aromatherapy recipes you’re unsure of the shelf-life of? Leave a comment below or on the Facebook page.