Handmade lotion are a wonderful thing, not only because it is customizable based on your needs, but also help you avoid harmful chemicals or ingredients that may cause allergies or sensitivities. While we had been using our very own handmade lotion personally and at the same time providing custom-made breastmilk/mother’s milk lotion making services for several years, we also discovered that there are many unsafe practices and formulas being used by other handmade lotion-makers locally and abroad. Throughout our various encounters, it is especially worrying when incorrect information and perception are being passed down to unsuspecting consumers, and may cause harm especially to babies whom are more susceptible. Unfortunately, most of the lotion formulas on the net/books are unsafe, causing even more misconceptions and confusions around.
Here are the three things that you should know about properly made handmade lotion, especially when you are trying to make it yourself or looking for someone to make it for you:
ONE: Preservatives are needed
If the lotion need to last more than one week (even in fridge), you will need to include preservatives. If the lotion is not used up within that one week in fridge and is without any preservatives, discard it immediately. Putting the lotion in fridge will NOT STOP bacteria, yeast and mold from growing, it merely slows down the process. After one week, the contamination would have been too much for safe usage. What you don’t see it with your very eyes doesn’t mean that the contamination is not there. Similar with opening fresh milk or juice, your actually need to consume it within 3-7 days! And remember that the following are NOT a preservatives: Grape Seed Extract, Vitamin E and Rosemary Extract. These are just anti-oxidant, which slows down the oil and butters rancidity, but it does not stop bacteria, yeast or mold from spoiling the lotion. Always check whether the preservatives used are broad spectrum, meaning it will guard against bacteria, mold and yeast. Containers used to store the lotion also matters, as the material of the containers used will remove the certain preservatives used thus making it susceptible to contamination. If you want to skip using preservatives, making lotion bar would be a much better choice.
TWO: Milk are BUG FOOD!
Putting milk, tea, honey, hydrosols, clay, floral waters, aloe vera, extracts, protein, powders, starches etc in your formula will REALLY challenge your preservative. We’ve seen many cases of other handmade lotion makers that provides services to make breastmilk lotion, and the amount of milk that they requested to make a small batch of lotion are tremendous! Even when preservatives are added it, it will NOT STOP the bacteria from growing, or the milk from getting rancid. If you read the ingredients of lotion sold in counters or shops, you will notice that WATER is always at the top of the ingredient list, while milk, honey, aloe vera etc as listed way below of the ingredient listing. This means that the amount used is extremely little. And it’s not because of the companies are saving some costs, it’s because the product will not pass the micro test and fit for consumer use! So how little should it be? Well the shocking truth is just 0.1%. So if you decided to make small batch of breastmilk lotion and the maker/formula asked for more than an ounce of milk from you, please run away!
THREE: Beeswax are not emulsifiers
Emulsifiers are the one that binds the water and oil together. Without it, your lotion will separate and you will just have a weird looking mixture. There are many recipes out there that uses only oil, water and beeswax. Not only it is difficult to make sure that the ingredients blended well together, you will notice that there will be droplets of water forming on the mixture after sometime. And not forgetting, the texture is not something that everyone will fancy. Beeswax is best used in lotion bar instead. To make a proper stable lotion, consider using a “self-emulsifying wax” like E-Wax which is great for beginners.
Having mentioned all these and while there are a lot more to learn and discover, these should not stop you from making or getting a handmade lotion done. It is always a wonderful to make things and having control of what you put in, at the same time, it is also very important to know what you are doing, especially when the product are meant to be used by others.
Interested to know more or wish to get more information about our lotion making services? Do feel free to contact us 🙂