There are several factors involved in conserving cosmetics. The first is choosing suitable preservatives and containers:
- An antifungal and an antibacterial agent to protect the aqueous phase (which is responsible for the growth of bacteria and fungi).
- An antioxidant to protect the oil phase from going rancid.
- A container that allows you to remove product while bringing it into as little contact as possible with the air and your fingers (pumps, airless pumps, reducers,droppers…).
Other factors with a significant impact on a product’s shelf life are the manufacturing process and sanitary conditions.
In large-scale industrial manufacturing, products are made in very strict sanitary conditions. They come into contact with the surrounding air as little as possible, and the product is sealed to extend its shelf life prior to opening. This is why some products keep for 6 to 12 months.
When you’re making your own day cream in your kitchen, for example, the risk of contamination is much higher. This is why it’s very important to carry out a few important steps to disinfect your area. You don’t need much to do so, just the following:
- A cleaning solution
- Denatured alcohol (at least 60% alcohol by volume) in a spray bottle
- Whatever you’ll use to boil water
- Clean rags
Disinfecting your equipment, workspace, and containers
1- Protective clothing
Wash hands well and wear gloves. Gloves should be changed or hands rewashed each time you handle an unsterilized object or anything unrelated to the recipe. Hair should be tied back.
2- Prepare work surfaces
Clean work surfaces with the cleaning solution, then spray the area with alcohol. Dry well with a clean rag (dedicated to this purpose) or single-use paper towels.
3- Disinfect and/or sterilize your equipment and containers
Boil your equipment in water for about 20 minutes, then dry (always with a clean rag or paper towels). Next, spray with alcohol, making sure it reaches into the inside of the containers and the lids or caps. Leave containers and lids to dry on single-use paper towels.
Spray with alcohol, making sure it reaches into the inside of the containers and the lids or caps. Leave containers and lids to air-dry.
At any point while you’re making products, don’t hesitate to regularly clean your workspace if it seems necessary. One can never clean too much when it comes to making products which come into contact with our skin or that of our loved ones!
Always remain alert to changes in your products. A change in texture, colour, or smell is often a sign of contamination. In this case, don’t hesitate: throw it out.