5 Simple Ways to Take Care of your Natural Skincare Products
Your minimalist skincare routine doesn’t begin when you apply products to your skin: knowing how to store your natural products can make a big difference not only in how well your products work, but also how long they last.
Your skincare products do alot to care for your skin. While we move through the world, skincare works behind the scenes to keep our skin balanced, hydrated, and soothed. It’s our skin’s calming companion, helping to soften the impact of our hardest days.
But your routine could use a little TLC in return.
At Iremia, we know how important it is to be mindful ofwhat skincare products use, and you’ve carefully curated a routine that is supportive to your unique skin. But we can be equally mindful ofwhere we keep our products.
Why Does Natural Skincare Storage Matter?
In general,skincare storage impacts not only the effectiveness of your products, but how long your products last. You’ve made careful investments for your skin, so it makes sense to ensure you’re getting the most effective product for as long as you can.
When it comes to natural skincare, storage is especially important… why?
Most cosmetic or skincare products have preservatives added to them, and for good reason. Preservatives are ingredients added to skincare to prevent microbial growth (think: unwanted bacteria, mould, and yeast) and to prolong the shelf life of products. The majority of commercial skincare products use chemical or synthetic preservative systems.
Natural skincare, however, is about a simple and clean routine. This means thatnatural skincare consciously avoids chemical or synthetic preservatives and instead opts for going preservative-free, using natural preservative systems, or adding antioxidants such as Vitamin E to formulas.
Without the added chemicals, your natural skincare products could be a little extra sensitive to their environment. Luckily, there are simple ways to help us protect the products that protect our skin.
While you should always follow the storage instructions on your products first, the following 5 rules of thumb will help you get the most out of your (natural) skincare routine.
How to Care for Natural Skincare Products
Avoid direct sunlight
While bottles may look beautiful lined up on a windowsill, it’s important to keep your skincare out of the sun.
Heat and sunlight speed up oxidation and cause active ingredients to break down, curdle, or melt. This not only shortens their shelf life and effectiveness, but can change the look, texture, and even smell of your products.
As a general rule, make sure to store your products below 30°C/86°F. On hot summer days, try briefly popping balms and oils in the fridge until the temperature cools down (not for too long though - oils and wax can separate over time in cold temperatures).
At Iremia, we take extra care and keep our products in amber bottles and jars rather than clear containers, as the dark glass packaging helps to keep out strong UV light that can speed up deterioration.
While a shady vanity is likely a fine location, keeping products in closed cabinets or drawers is the most effective way to ensure your natural skincare products stay out of the sun.
Keep it dry, keep it cool
While a steamy shower might be a great way foryou to relax, a hot bathroom is a stressful environment for your natural skincare products.
Warm, wet places are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Opening or applying products in the shower, for example, or leaving jars exposed on a bathroom vanity can increase the likelihood of water exposure and therefore contamination from foreign bacteria. Once introduced, there’s no way to remove or kill off the bacteria without damaging the remaining product - and the build-up of bacteria can contribute to acne and other skin problems.
Further, water condensation on surfaces can generate mould, especially on products that are not sealed properly (think scrubs, powders, or even jars that aren’t closed tightly enough).
With all that goes on there, the bathroom is not the best option for natural skincare storage. However, if keeping your skincare in the lavatory is unavoidable, keep in mind that heat rises: try storing your products in a low drawer or even under a (dry) sink rather than any high cabinets or top shelves. Your products will thank you!
Make some room in the fridge
Does refrigerating skincare products make a difference? Turns out, your fridge could be the unexpected ally for your skincare.
Similar to fruits and vegetables,cooler temperatures can extend the shelf life of your skincare,especially for natural products without preservatives.
If you incorporate Vitamin C or retinoids into your regimen, try keeping these in the fridge: cool temperatures slow down the degradation of these active ingredients.
But remember, cooler is not better for all products - oil-based products like serums or our Restorative Facial Oil can become cloudy when stored in the fridge, so it’s best to keep these at room temperature.
For a refreshing twist or on days when your skin is feeling irritated, try putting our water-based All-Calm Face Mist into the fridge - while water-based toners and mists don’t always need to be kept in the fridge, this can add a cooling effect that not only feels great but can help with puffiness and to soothe inflamed skin.
If you decide to store products in the fridge, keep them well-sealed and away from food. Not only will you avoid getting that fridge smell on your skincare, properly sealing your products(such as in reusable silicone bags, or tight Tupperware) prevents cross-contamination.
Stay away from extreme cold
Just like heat, extreme cold is damaging to your natural skincare products. Lotions and creams, in particular, can become unstable if they are even partially frozen and thawed, and freezing may interfere with the preservative system.
Be careful to monitor your fridge temperature if you choose to store your products there, and if temperatures drop in the winter, keep your products away from drafty windows and cold basements or storage areas.
Clean hands and tools
The cornerstone of any good skincare routine is hygiene, and keeping your skincare products clean is no exception.
For products that come in jars, like our Soothing Lotion or Protective Cream, remember to clean and dry your hands well prior to dipping in with your fingers. Forgetting to wash up first means you are transferring the bacteria from all the places your hands have been (phone, keyboard, doorknob) straight into your beautiful skincare jar, where the bacteria will continue to live and grow.
An easy way to avoid contamination is touse a spatula or small spoon to scoop out your product - not only does this keep your jar clean, but it also helps you take out the exact amount of product you need. Waste not, want not!
Knowing how to store your natural products can make a big difference not only in how well your products work but also in how long they last - a little bit of thoughtful storage can go a long way.
One of the major reasons to use natural skincare is to avoid the synthetic chemicals found in commercial products, so remember that while we can take steps to help preserve products, we can’t expect handmade or small-batch products to have the same shelf life as mass-produced products.
You can check out our curated collection of natural skincare products here - enjoy the ritual of using your natural skincare, and handle them with care, intention, and presence. Clean and natural products are not made to last forever, and that is a beautiful thing.