Aromatherapy Safety: Make Your DIY Products Last
By Marisa Lampert
It’s fun to be creative when using essential oils to make your own DIY products. However, it’s important to keep in mind some aromatherapy safety tips to avoid compromising the purity of your product. Especially with skincare products, you want to blend, store, and use your products carefully to make sure no unwanted ingredients are introduced.
Contaminants like bacteria, mold, and yeast can get into products in various ways, and any mixture with water will provide the environment contaminants need to grow. Being careful and doing research before attempting any recipe will help lead to safe practices, and remember that you can always contact us with questions about specific recipes or techniques.
As a general guideline to start, here are four of our most helpful DIY aromatherapy safety tips to keep in mind when making products at home:
Make small batches: this means you will use up the product faster, allowing less time for the mixture to go rancid or allow contaminants to grow. Any water-based product, like a spritzer, will have a shorter shelf life, so only make as much as you’ll use in about a month’s time.
Make oil-based products: contaminants thrive in water but don’t do well in oil-based mixtures. However, carrier oils have different shelf lives — while Fractionated Coconut Oil will resist rancidity, Calendula has a shelf life of about 6 months. Keep this in mind when blending to ensure your mixture doesn’t go bad before you get a chance to use it all.
Learn more about carrier oils.
Avoid touching products with bare hands: bacteria on your skin can contaminate your products during use. Try using tubes and bottles with pump applicators to avoid dipping your hands into the container or product. It’s also important to store and handle your ingredients properly before blending, and to make sure you’re using a clean workspace and containers for each recipe you make.
Add a natural preservative: Vitamin E is a natural preservative which can be added to your recipes that is both beneficial and gentle to skin. It is a natural antioxidant that can extend the shelf life of your product and help prevent oxidation. While many essential oils may have antibacterial, antifungal or antiviral constituents, the amount you’d need to add to your product to deter growth would make the blend too harsh for topical use.
Bonus Recipe: Shelf-Stable Carrier Oil Base Blend
Add all oils to a bottle and shake gently to combine. This blend can be used topically as-is for skin care or added to natural lotions or soaps for moisturizing. Add essential oils for your skin type and needs to personalize your essential oil product.
*Both Jojoba and Fractionated Coconut oil are highly stable and have a long shelf life. You can use either of these oils on their own or in combination.
For an All-Purpose, Long-Lasting Carrier Base Oil combine
80 ml Fractionated Coconut Oil with 20 ml Jojoba.
If you’re new to aromatherapy, or if you’re looking for more DIY recipes, be sure to download a free copy of Listen to Your Nose: An Introduction to Aromatherapy. Knowing these basics will give you the confidence to know your DIY recipes are safe to use. And visit us on Facebook for more aromatherapy safety tips all month long.