I’m sure some of the long, and unpronounceable names on store bought products are there to preserve the product and extend its shelf life. Although it’s not often an issue when we make our own products (I know I only make small amounts at a time), it would be good to know that we’re doing all that we can to preserve the product as long as possible – particularly if the product is a gift!
This article, on the Mountain Rose Blog, provides some tips for making our products last.
As more people look to natural, organic, and GMO-free alternatives for skin, body, and healthcare, it can be hard to know how to create safe alternatives to store bought products. Some of the questions that come up again and again are about preservatives and how to extend the shelf-life of your homemade goodies.
One of the reasons many of us are trying to get away from conventional shampoos, soaps, pastes, and cleaners is that they contain synthetic ingredients used to increase the shelf-life up to months or even years. Those ingredients can cause allergic reactions, may be drying or irritating, and could potentially be linked to some rather unsavory health problems. We know we don’t want to slather those ingredients on our bodies, but are we afraid of life without preservatives? Let’s get to the bottom of this…
As a rule, water-based creations will have a much shorter shelf-life than oil and butter-based ones, because water breeds life! This is why salves and balms tend to have much longer stability than lotions and creams. For water-based products like hair rinses, linen sprays, and insect repellents, it is often better to simply make small batches as needed. This has the added benefit of ensuring that you are using the freshest ingredients for your routine.
There are natural ways to help add stability to home crafted skin and body care products, but they are not equivalent to chemical commercial preservatives. Fortunately, we can create small batches to use up quickly or choose some of those natural preservatives to include in our creations. The key is understanding your ingredients and process.
Read on for the tips…