The most important rule for storing any homemade skin care is: moisture is your enemy. Any water in your product can result in mold growing. So, the number one rule for storing homemade skin care products is to keep water out of your jar(s).
There are two main stages where water can enter jars are the production phase and the application phase.
Water in the production phase
When melting oils and butter together ensure that no water from your double boiler spits into your mixture. This can easily happen if the water is boiling too much and/or if the rim of the jar with the oils is too low. The easiest way to avoid any spits is to use a melting jar or bowl that’s slightly larger than the pot with the water. This way it can sit on top of the top without touching the water. Another solution is to ensure that the water is not boiling too rapidly.
Once all oils and butters are melted it’s time for bottling. Before doing so, ensure the jars are bone dry. Check the lids as well. Some people like to put their jars into the oven with the door slightly open. This is a good way to dry out any moister and to prepare the jars for the hot oil/butter mixture.
Water in the application phase
I have found it a good idea to use a spoon to get any product out of the jar. The spoon helps to reduce the chance of any water on our skin to enter the jar. It’s okay to reuse the same spoon. I even just leave it sitting on top of my jar for any use.
When the cream is not used, ensure the lid is closed.
Should you find any mold or other unidentifiable growth in your face cream, discard immediately. In rare instances bacteria (from water) can grow in the anaerobic environment created by the oils. These bacteria can be dangerous.
If a cream smells rancid you can choose to discard it. Health experts advise against eating rancid oil. It could be anything, from not desirable to dangerous. However, since the oil in a cream is only used topically it will not have the same effect. Bearing the smell however is something every individual will have to decide.
To avoid any cream going rancid before its use, store it in a dark and cold place. The most important part of this advice is ‘dark’ which means to avoid direct sunlight and preferably light in general. Olive oil in particular reacts with sunlight which results in a shorter shelf life.
Following these simple steps ensures that your face cream, body butter or any other homemade skin care (and dental care, if using) will stay fresh for longer.