Issue #29: Safe Containers for DIY Skincare Recipes

Dried lavender with essential oil

Dried lavender with essential oilIt's Important to Choose the Right Container for Your Specific Skincare Recipe

by Alicia Voorhies, RN

So you've become the DIY Queen with your natural, homemade skincare brews, huh?  The next step is choosing a container that doesn't contiminate your non-toxic recipe, right?  This part can be a little tricky, but a few quick steps will get you headed in the right direction!

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.

When you need a more durable option, choose containers made from HDPE (#2) for basic mixtures.  LDPE (#4) is fine too, but they're typically used for thicker liquids with a squeeze because top they're thinner and more flexible.

Adding essential oils?  Consider using PET in this situation – even when they're diluted 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.  This is necessary because essential oils are powerful and have the capacity to breakdown the plastic they're stored in.  If you decide to go with PET bottles, you should handwash them and replace/recycle them often.

But what about the lids, spray nozzles, and lotion pumps?  The good news is that most are made from polypropylene (#5), so you shouldn't have to worry about them.  It's always wise, however, to go with white so you can be sure that no BPA-based colorants have been added.

Do you have tips for other DIY queens on safe storage? Don't be stingy, share!