1. Always use clean utensils, tools and containers. Before you start making anything, it's best to wipe all these items with denatured alcohol. You can get denatured alcohol from the pharmacy. This step is crucial to prevent contamination and rancidity of your finished products. And always use clean fingers when using creams out of a jar.
2. When purchasing raw materials, always get the best quality that you can afford. And always store them in clean areas, and in a cool, dry and dark cupboard away from direct sunlight.
3. Get to know your essential oils - smell them and recognise the distinctive aromas of each essential oil that you use. There are different grades of essential oils, and there are even synthetic fragrances that will claim to be pure essential oils! A good guideline is to know the price range of the essential oil, most of which are not too cheap. So if you come across one that is way too cheap, be very suspicious! If you've got a good nose, you will learn to tell the difference between synthetic versions and the real stuff.
4. If you're gonna deal with essential oils, you better get to know more about them! Surf the web for general information on each specific type of essential oil, and know about the properties, what they good for and if there are any cautions.
5. Know that because essential oils are purely organic in nature, there will be variations in the colour, smell and even properties of the essential oil depending on the specific species (that's the latin name of every plant), where the plant was grown, how the oil was extracted, and whether it has been mixed with other essential oils. Generally, the more expensive it is, the better is it's quality. So again, buy the best quality that you can afford! A plus side to buying quality is that most essential oils have a wide variety of uses, so you can always use it for more than just skin care.
6. If you come across any good essential oils that you cannot afford, take the opportunity to smell them! This way, you'll know what good quality oil smells like, and this experience may come in handy in the future when you may be able to afford them:)
7. It's a good idea to invest in an aromatherapy book as you'll learn more on essential oils and you will be amazed at how versatile they really are. Also, because essential oils are very potent in nature, it is very important to know how to deal with each specific type of oil that you are using. You can easily overdose (because you need only drops at a time) thinking that you can never get enough of a good thing... but you CAN get too much of a good thing when it comes to essential oils! You can get such information from the internet, but nothing beats a handy book as a trustworthy reference tool.
8. Never use any essential oil without knowing how much to use at a time, especially when you're dealing with children. A child's body is much smaller than an adult and thus much more sensitive to essential oils, and so they can easily be overdosed and may experience adverse side effects. In general, limit the use of essential oils to children under 3 years to a minimum. For children aged 4 - 12 years, limit the concentration of essential oils to 1% or less. There are certain essential oils that are generally considered safe for children in low concentrations, namely Lavender, Chamomile, Sweet Orange, Ylang Ylang, etc.
9. Changing to a more natural based skin care regiment actually involves a change of lifestyle! You'll need to educate yourself on everything that you've been putting on your skin, and you'll need to be much more conscious of what is good for you, and what may harm you in the long run. It does take more effort to go green and natural, but it's definitely rewarding when you realise that your skin and body is better without chemicals!
10. If this is your first time trying out a natural based skin care routine, know that it will take time for your skin to get used it, and before you start seeing any improvement. Think about all those long years of piling on chemical-based stuff on your skin, and you'll understand why your skin will take some time ( weeks to months) to adjust. Some skin types may seem like they're getting worse, which may be a sign that either you may be allergic to a certain natural ingredient, OR that your skin is purging itself of impurities. If you think it's an allergy, do a small skin test on another part of your body and see if there are any adverse reactions. If it's not an allergy, then try to tough it out for 1 or 2 weeks more to see if your skin starts clearing up.
11. Making your own natural based skin care is like making home-cooked food. It always taste better simply because you know each and every single ingredient that goes in, and you add a very special ingredient that can never be bought... LOVE! So when making your own products, always be in a good state of mind and make it with a conscious intention of making your skin healthier and looking great... it makes a difference ;)
12. And one last thing... if you come across any hand made, natural or organic based skin care that works great for you or your kids, please do share it with the rest of us!!! It will be especially helpful for those that are too busy, or too lazy, to make their own stuff... and there ain't nothing wrong in that ya!