Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mixologists and DIY Products Safety

During my daily perusal of natural hair and skin care recipes and websites, I have come across my share of recipes that mention no preservation literature, products for sell, etc.  Now I support all those who enjoy creating their own products and creating a business for themselves.  But I can't help but wonder, if these people are just making products and selling them without a thought about product efficacy, allergies, mold, bacteria, SAFETY,etc.  I know I wasn't until I really began to research the complexities of creating my own products.  And even then I was not trying to sell my recipes.  I am no chemist, so when pH levels and chemical reactions between ingredients occur....I don't know all this info, lol and neither does your average Joe/Jane.

Now, I know that FDA regulations can mean little to some, and many of the ingredients approved by the FDA are harmful and cause adverse reactions in many, but they do require that people follow some sort of rules to making their products and safely selling them.  There needs to be some regulation of selling products, including natural/organic regulations.  It can be from proper labeling(nut allergies,etc), testing how it stands up to daily usage, shelf life, etc.  I am not saying conform to all chemical crap that the FDA currently approves, but be knowledgeable of your product in which you are selling. 

I am simply put an advocate of rules ( I like structure), so as the natural community grows and we (society) adjust our thinking to more organic ways of production, life, health etc, I hope that regulations improve and alternatives are discovered.  We as consumers need to ask more questions.  Making your own natural skin and hair care is not new, plain and simple, but we do need to educate ourselves, especially if you want to try and sell it.  In the long run it's better for you and your potential customers. 

I have personally witnessed a person creating their concoctions and given the time that they were researching their products and the time that they began offering them for sell, they could not have possibly had them tested for safety let alone efficacy.  Did you test that recipe out before you made claims of it;s ability to do this or that, LOL people are a trip, anyhoo. No one formulation is going to work with any given preservative whether it be natural or synthetic. 

I mean there are probably many sellers out there who haven't even considered the shelf life of their products let alone know how to properly label them and know the efficacy of their preservative. 

Any product with water is highly prone to bacterial growth, putting your hands in products spread germs & bacteria, storing in bathroom ( warm moist area), etc.  For this reason I am making smaller amounts.  My personal rules are use natural preservatives and antioxidants, avoid large amounts of water based products, and try to minimize hand in jars.  I only make enough oil/butter recipes to last me 1 month and oil/water for 1-2 weeks with refrigeration. 

As discussed in my previous posts about preservatives,  the only way to know if your product is effectively being preserved is to have a educated and TRAINED chemist test it and until then, there is no way you can be sure if your product is safe for sell/ use over time.

If you want to learn more or have questions, I would advise you to do some reading at http://www.herbarie.com/.  They are not only helpful, but trained people that combine science and natural methods, so you get the best of both worlds.  For example, I was recommended using a liquid germall plus, but after reading one of the ingredients hazard rating on skin deep, I became concerned.  I then went on to read some more info using a link provided by skin deep and learned that the formula for liquid germall plus was not dangerous, it's like watered down bleach if you know what I mean.  I'm still concerned and considering it, but the point is do your research and check for yourself, because all these blogs and forums are run by your average Joe/Jane who read other peoples blogs and take it as fact.  Check out The Natural Haven too, she discusses science and natural methods and their benefits and vice versa. 
This post is not meant to offend anyone and I support my fellow mixologists, but be safe, the US is the most litigious country out there and I think this needed to be said.


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