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How to Choose Safe Containers for DIY Skin Care Recipes

safe containers for DIY skin care recipes
How to Choose Safe Containers for DIY Skincare Recipes

So you’ve become the DIY Queen with your natural, homemade skin care brews, huh?  Good for you! So the next step is choosing safe containers that don’t contaminate your non-toxic recipe, but his part can be a little tricky – especially if you're using essential oils. We'll have you headed in the right direction with a few quick steps!

Choosing Safe Containers for Your Specific Recipe

Choose glass containers and spray bottles when they won’t be stored around the sink, tub or in the diaper bag, and can be kept safely out of little hands.  Glass is non-porous and will hold up to pretty much any ingredient. Stainless steel works really well for many recipes too.

Glass and Stainless Steel Containers

Tins With No Liner

You can also use tin containers (not to be confused with aluminum) for recipes without potent essential oils, but be aware they are often lined with some sort of epoxy just like aluminum water bottles.

Polypropylene and HDPE Containers

When you need a less breakable option and stainless steel just won't cut it, choose containers made from HDPE (#2) or polypropylene (#5) for basic mixtures with mild essential oils. It's always a good idea to do compatibility testing before buying plastic containers in bulk. You'll know it's incompatible if the container begins to leak or changes in shape or color after 24 hours or so.

Durable + Safe Containers for More Potent Essential Oil Recipes

Some essential oils (especially citrus oils) have a chemical composition that is known to interfere with the chemistry of some plastics and metals, causing them to break down or rust.  Consider using PET (#1) jars for these recipes instead – even when diluted pretty thoroughly with a carrier oil.

PET has been shown to handle skincare products containing essential oils remarkably well because it has a high permeability resistance rating.  PET bottles should be replaced/recycled if they begin to show any signs of breakdown (leaking, warping or changing color).

Additional Cautions

  • Stay away from polystyrene containers and PVC tubes (often used for foundation or lip gloss, usually flexible).
  • Undiluted essentials oils should always be stored in glass, never in plastic.
  • Plastic containers may absorb the essential oil scent, so they will probably have to be used for cosmetics from that point on.
  • It's best not to use spatulas made from rubber or TPR, because the essential oils will ruin them.

Learn more about Decoding the Mystery of Safer vs Toxic Plastic here.


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