If you are adventurous enough to concoct your own hair products in your own kitchen — which many naturals are — then be sure you are taking precautionary measures to be very careful with preserving and making your products! One of the perks of natural homemade products? Is that they DON’T have all the harsh chemicals and artificial preservatives found in some commercial products on the market. The downside? Is the lack of preservatives can cause your homemade remedies to spoil — just like food.
Today, we are joined by guest blogger Domininque Goosby from All Things O’Natural, who shares her “homemade products 101”. Dominique is a wife, mother, sister and friend with a passion for spreading knowledge about all things O’Natural that is beneficial to the mind, body and spirit..Leaving the corporate world of Interior Design prompted her to focus full time on my family, homeschooling and perfecting her soon to be O’Natural product line.
Hola Chicas/Chicos..I pray all is well. Now, this is a bit of a serious subject and should not be breezed through nor taken lightly. Let’s talk about the excitement of homemade natural products. Now, I commend anyone who is taking a plunge and making, concocting and mixing their own homemade products, because I know from experience it is a lot of work. However, all things that seem great could turn into a catastrophe if proper precautions are not taken. Now, if you have been following my blog or facebook page or even know me personally, you know that I, too, have began selling my homemade O’Natural Natty Butter. So, with this being said, I will list some extra steps for you to take and/or inquire about when creating or buying your Homemade Products.. just to be safe.
Homemade Products 101:
- Sterilize: Always sterilize your containers, though you may think that they are pre sterilized when coming from the company, sterilize them anyway. For my Natty Butter, I wash the containers using an eco friendly soap, then proceed to boil the containers, then allow them to completely dry before adding any product to them.
- Clean Hands: Be sure to always clean your hands when preparing and especially if you touch anything that is not pertaining to your mixture. So as to be sure that I do not allow any synthetic chemicals to come in contact with my Natty Butter, I use the same eco friendly soap to constantly wash my hands.
- Knowledge: Know your ingredients..study them thoroughly to find out what benefits what, what causes what reaction and so forth. If your product contains Shea Butter, which comes from the Shea Nut tree, be sure to provide information of that just in case a client has ‘nut allergies’, be sure to LIST that your ingredients contain Shea Butter. My very first and highest quantity of ingredients is Shea Butter.
- Preserve: Extremely important to add natural preservatives to your homemade products. Essential oils such as Rosemary is a natural preservative (.5% ratio should be used, I actually exceeded this amount for extra precaution). High antioxidants such as Jojoba and Vitamin E are also natural preservatives. Grapefruit Seed Oil is also a natural antimicrobial, which makes it an excellent addition to any homemade product. Be sure to look for any or all of these ingredients when buying homemade products. My Natty Butter has Grapefruit Seed Oil, Jojoba and Rosemary. If you are making or purchasing a product that contains Almond Oil, Avacado Oil, Evening Primrose or Hemp Oil, you want to preserve using an anti oxidant preservative, such as Vitamin E and/or Rosemary.Anti oxidants reduce the rate of oils that oxidize to prolong shelf life. Oils that carry microbial properties are: Tea Tree, Caraway, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Rose, Rosemary, Sage, Sandalwood, Thyme..this is why if your product contains any of these oils, it is important to look for the addition of grapefruit seed oil (natural anti microbial). Sweet Orange Oil is also excellent, not only does it smell heavenly, but it contains Vitamin C, which is another natural preservative. And the use of dark containers help to preserve natural products. I use dark Amber Heavy Duty containers for my Natty Butter in order to prevent light from penetrating through the product.
- Refrigerate: Be sure to refrigerate your homemade product if natural preservatives are not added, and sometimes if they are, to the product. Refrigeration is a natural preservative and expands the life cycle of the product. Be sure to list if your product, which you intend to sell, needs to be refrigerated.
- 6-8 months: Always test your product for at least 6-8 months to see what affects you receive or the breakdown or separation of the product. Before advertising my Natty Butter, I left myself a sample that I used and allowed to sit for at least 6 months to see how the product would or would not hold up. If there was or was no separation. To see if the natural fragrance would wear or remain strong. Using the ingredients that I have added, the product held firm and remained usable. My Natty Butter expires 6 months from the date that the client receives the product, because this is how long I personally tested the product.
- Keep Out of the Bathroom: Because bathrooms harbor many unknown germs and bacteria, it is best not to store your homemade products in your bathroom. Always store the product in a cool place, and be sure to include this on your label to inform your client, it should read ‘store in a cool place’. I keep my personal jar of Natty Butter in my bedroom, in a plastic bin.
- Keep water out!: Water is a culprit that feeds bacteria. If your homemade product contain water, please keep the item refrigerated. My Natty Butter contains no water. Water based products prevent natural preservatives from working at their best.
- Disclaimer: Be sure to always add a disclaimer to your product..and be sure to look for the disclaimer on your product. Include an additional educational note with your product, since space can be limited on your product label. Be sure to let your clients know that your product is not guaranteed to heal or cure any pre existing ailments.
- Be Smart, Be Safe, Ask Questions..Enjoy!
This post is not intended to discredit any commercial product or natural product approved by the FDA. As a person who has a family member who works for the Food & Drug Administration, all of the ‘so called’ regulations that should be followed, are not, as the public are led to believe. Statistics show that there are more adverse effects with federally regulated products, whether hair care, skin care, food, or medicinal, than natural products. Because my son suffered from an adverse effect from my use of commercial products (baby products) and federally approved and regulated medicine, I began my journey to seek out and learn about things that were all natural. With anything, please be sure to do your homework and ask questions.