DIY - The Safe Way
Posted on 15 August 2015
I love DIY and all that can be done with it. Using organic ingredients in their rawest form and combining them in different ways to become something new is fun. Customizing products to work for friends, family, coworkers or myself. The bobus is making items that work without adding unnecessary harmful ingredients.
Who wouldn't love that?
Interest in DIY has increased significantly along with the popularity of natural hair increasing rapidly over the years. I find it is of the highest importance to know how to create products, at home, in the most sanitary ways possible. The following are things that I find to be very helpful for the home beauty diy-er.
- Always wash your hands, wear protective gear, gloves, hair net, shoes and eye protection. Nothing should be exposed. This reduces the likelihood that your products will be compromised or contaminated. Be sure to protect yourself by always wear closed toe shoes and minimize exposed skin.
- Sanitize you work area, utensils, measuring items, tools, bowls, etc... Be sure everything is sanitized.
- Never cross contaminate. Any tools, pots and other items used should only be for creating your products. Do not use anything for food and beauty products. No bueno.
What to use?Containers
- (Best Option) Glass: Will always be your best choice. It does not absorb ingredients or hold odors after being properly cleansed.
- Plastic containers should be safe for the intended use.
- (Worst Option) Metals: When metals are used it is best to use a high quality steel (stainless preferably). Some metals react negatively with oils, such as essential oils, this is not an ideal option for many things.
- It is best to use silicone or stainless steel instead of anything that is rubber.
- Many people cook with wooden items and feel it should be alright to use them for your products. Nah...no need. Wood absorbs things liquid, oils, fragrances and other things. Using wooden utensils and bowls is not an option. They are too porous and that makes it very hard to clean properly.
- The chemicals that are combined to make plastic usually removes it as being an option for most.
- Be sure that the item is heat safe and not highly porous. Porous materials increase the opportunity for bacteria growth. Always be sure to wash the container with hot water and soap. This removes any residue that may be in the container.
- Boil them, full submerged, in a pot of water,for approximately 10-15 minutes. Be sure to use heat resistant tongs or utensils of choice to remove them from the pot. Be very cautious when removing the containers from the water. They will be really hot!
- Be sure everything is 100% dry before using it!
- If you need to use them right away just preheat your oven to 280 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the containers, glass, in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until they are 100% dry. Let them cool completely and they are ready to be used.
- Be sure to cleanse utensils with a cleanser that is not toxic.
Water...Vital & Dangerous
Water is essential to life. We thrive on it and so do microbes and other nasty bacteria. Ensuring the proper precautions lessens the possibility for having any potential heath issues.
You are making preservative free DIY products with water. This is a haven for bacterial growth! This. It's why I prefer to use commercial grade preservatives. If water is added to any aspect of your product it is imparitive to properly preserve the item or use it in a very short amount of time.
Water is the #1 ingredient for moisture. It is wonderful for the hair and skin. The type of water used is also very important.
Distilled water (BEST): Is water in its simplest and purist form. It is created by distillation of water. The water is steamed. The steam is captured and the contaminants are discarded.
Filtered water: High quality water filtration system can be sued as well but the more economical route for the at home diy-er is to just purchase distilled water.
Boiled water: Is alright for home use products but I still don't recommend it.
Tap water (WORST): Should never be used. It usually contains a great deal of bacteria and undesirable minerals.
Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are high concentrations of very potent oils. They are undiluted, unless otherwise stated, when bought. They must be diluted into to a carrier prior to use. The dilution ratio is commonly 2% for products that are made for the skin. 2% is generally the highest amount that is to be used. Only use skin safe essential oils. Never consume oils that do not state that they are made for consumption.
Shelf life of Final Products
- When DIY at home never make more than a single use batch. Never make more than what is needed for a very short period of time.
- Always use clean hands when getting products out of your containers. Using a spoon is more ideal.
- Be sure to close containers after each use.
- Refrigeration is necessary for any product that has water as an ingredient.
- Store all items properly.
- Test pH (with pH strips if needed).
Hopefully these tips are helpful. If you have questions or input feel free to comment below.
If you are not very certain about these aspects of safe product creations be sure to research as much as possible, some online/ local courses maybe available and asking as many questions as you can to knowledgeable people are all great options. If those things do not work out well for you leave it to the professionals.