Making personal care products at home is often done for safety reasons – we simply do not want to introduce foreign or unsafe ingredients onto the surface of our bodies. By making products at home with ingredients we know and trust, we eliminate much of the concern over the safety of these products.

Nevertheless, there are several things to keep in mind when preparing these products at home to insure the utmost safety in making and handling.


1. Safe preparation starts with very clean hands, utensils, and storage vessels.

The cleanliness of the storage container is especially critical. If any bacteria are held in the container itself, it can contaminate the entire product. Wash jars or bottles thoroughly before use with hot, soapy water. Alternatively, sterilize containers in the dishwasher or a pot of boiling water. In either case, dry containers completely before filling.


2. Keep ingredients clean and safe.

More often than not, you will not be using the entire contents of a package in one recipe. It is important to keep ingredients clean and safe in between uses by sealing the bottle or bag tightly. If the original vessel is not entirely sealable, transfer the remaining product to a very clean, sealable jar for storage.

3. Pay attention to the recipe.

One of the biggest differences between the products purchased commercially and those made at home is the use of preservatives to extend shelf life. Many personal care products work in one or more ingredients known to extend shelf life; others do not. Read the recipe carefully and follow its instructions for shelf life and storage.


4. When in doubt, refrigerate the finished product.

If there is any doubt as to how long a personal care product recipe will keep or whether it will be used in the allotted time, refrigerate the product. Refrigerate right after preparation to slow spoilage. Because the cold of the refrigerator often hardens the ingredients in personal care products, be sure to remove the product from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before using.


5. Finally, don’t take chances.

If a personal care product looks or smells funny or off, simply discard it. It may be that the storage vessel harbored some bacteria, the ingredients were past their prime, or the product simply sat out longer than intended. In any case, it is best to simply discard the product rather than to try it on the skin and introduce bacteria to the body.


Following these safety guidelines helps to ensure that you and your family enjoy the maximum benefit of the natural ingredients in your homemade body care products