So I am going to share with you what I have picked up along the way about shelf lives. Everyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong!
|Mr Bacteria, mocking us. OK, it may be rubbish. You don't read this blog for the pictures, though, you read it to see if Home Improvements are going to break me. Yes, yes they are|
But I think generally your soaps are good for a good few months and do not have to be refrigerated (and I am sure there is some homemade soap that has been hanging about for years). My mother drinks wine, becomes lively, and then steals all mine as soon as I make it, so this is entirely academic to me, indeed, would that I had this problem.
Homemade cosmetics with water: to make cosmetics which have a texture which is anything like the bought version, you have to use water and emulsifier. The presence of the water means bacteria can grow. So, if you do this, you have to use preservative, or you have to store your cosmetics in the fridge and use within a few days. Otherwise you are risking mould. Eeeeeeek! Vivianne shared this link with me which shows what happens. So, it is not possible to make an all-natural hydrous product, unless you are making it yourself to use immediately: commercial producers who use preservatives have no choice, and do it to make their products safe. If you scroll down to the comments, though, you will see the risk is not the same with…
|Hydrous product, with chemicals, without mould. It's out of focus, it's not you, don't start worrying|
BUT! When you use your cosmetics, you introduce bacteria (from your hands), and possibly water – especially things like scrubs in the shower (I found this article which deals with this. I love her blog). So, depending on how you feel about things, you could deal with this by: scooping things out with a spoon instead of your hands: adding a bit of preservative: keeping an eye on things and being aware generally: storing things in the fridge: making small batches and using them up. It is your call. I have never had a mould problem so I am possibly slightly cavalier, but the minute anything goes furry on top of one of my Whipped Body Butters you can bet I will be running straight to this blog squawking ‘Experiment Over! Everybody back to Boots!’.
|Mr Bacteria, properly managed and repressed through good hygiene during use of anhydrous products|