You took the plunge, you are now the proud owner of new handcrafted, spa quality, luxurious, artisanal beauty products. And the first thing you really noticed upon opening your package, is that these products really are made with a love of what the crafter does.
How do you make sure you get the most out of your products? Make them last a long time? Keep the contamination beasties out? Keep the scent around? Keep them from going bad? That is what we’ve dedicated this post to. Now, you may or may not have bought Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin products, you may have bought your products from another artisanal maker, and that is ok! No problem. The basic principles are the same.
There is a little bit of a learning curve in caring for your handcrafted products, but the faster you get into the habit of taking care of your products, the longer you will keep them around. Some people just look at us when we try to explain this topic and they say, “It is just soap. You lather, rinse and use again tomorrow”. True, but if you want to use your fantastic bar of soap for three weeks, then grand! But if you want it to last as long as possible… you get my drift. It’s like buying an expensive cashmere sweater. Sure you could toss it into the wash with the towels like you do your other sweatshirts, but do you really think it is going to continue to look beautiful? Nope. You need to hand wash that sucker with special soap, rinse carefully, lay flat to dry, fluff, carefully fold, then put back into your closet.
Water Based Products
This includes but is not limited to: serums, gels, lotions, creams, butters, toners
It is very important to close/tighten the lids. We do try to put most things into containers that have flip top lids to make it easier for you to close it all down. And there is a very good reason we use these types of containers. Contamination is not our friends. We use preservatives to try to prevent beasties from taking over your product, we practice excellent GMP in The Scrub Me Down Kitchen, but we are not scientists working in sterile lab like conditions so there is always a risk. We do our part by making sure our work areas are pristine as they can possibly be, we sterilise your containers before we fill them, sterilise the lids, we change our gloves often, have our hair pulled back, we even go so far as to wear particle masks when making water based products to keep beasties on this end out. But, none of this matters if you don’t close that lid. China is not the cleanest of places, and I wouldn’t ever want to use a product that sits open on someone’s counter in someone’s bathroom in any country. I mean seriously. You flush your toilet in the same breathing space as that product. I don’t even want to imagine what the fecal count you apply to your face if you don’t tighten that lid. I even wipe down my containers in the bathroom often as the thought of touching said container, then applying the lotion to my hands, closing the container, then applying to my face… well the thought of a poop cream really doesn’t appeal to me.
Kids can safely use Happy Skin water based products under the direct supervision of parents. Again, this is because of the potential of contamination. Kids pick their noses, scratch willy nilly without thought, and don’t wash their hands after their frequent trips to the bathroom (most people I find don’t at all, they more or less wave their hands under the water which might sound pretty, but doesn’t do squat)… do you really want them putting their grubby hands into your precious products? I wouldn’t. Now a pump bottle or a flip top lid, I’d be happier sharing. But a tub or a pot? No way. I need to think about my safety first. I know, gross thoughts. I’ve worked with children for years, the crazy gross things they do (I laugh my arse off about it but it’s still pretty gross!) so for me, even any store bought item (and that includes food!) if a kid touches it, I’m done. I should just have kids. I’d loose so much weight!
Please ensure that you fasten your lid onto the container if you can. Don’t just cover the container/pot with the lid. This doesn’t just keep the beasties out, but it also works to keep your product in the best condition. Water evaporates. We work very hard at formulating recipes that are precise to give the glide, slip, texture, feeling that they have for the most luxurious experience. Don’t mess with the ingredients by letting something as simple as water evaporate!
If you do not like the containers we have chosen for your products and want to decant your (for example) face cream from a pump into a pot, we would strongly advise against doing so. Reusing any container is never a good idea.
Please don’t add anything to your products! I mentioned above, we spent a long time formulating each recipe to make them what they are. Each ingredient has been measured to fit into the product exactly. The preservatives used are calculated for exactly what is in there. By adding even a drop of something has the potential to alter that delicate balance.
Keep your products out of direct sunlight, the bathroom cabinet is a perfect place to store your products. And if you are stock piling, store them in a cool dark location. I keep my extra stash in the fridge. I love applying cold cream to my face! Ohhh and cold toner is divine!
This includes but is not limited to: all lippies, body scrubs, lotion bars, face scrubs
The number one most important thing to know, keep water out. Beasties need water to grow in. No water therefore, no beasties. Get water in there, beasties can grow rampant. In some of our anhydrous products, we don’t use a preservative, so this rule, is vital. We know the body scrub will be used in the shower, and water will make it’s way into the scrub no matter how much you try to keep water out, don’t worry. It does contain a preservative. Just try to keep the water to a minimum!
Remember to recap your products after each and every use. Fecal matter. Remember?
Again, all our anhydrous products can be used by children under the direct supervision of a parent. They are all kid friendly, but again, kids+dirty+cooties+snot=questionable thoughts.
Personally, how I use a lot of my anhydrous based products by taking a clean kitchen spoon, and using the bum end to scoop some product out into a little bowl. This way, I know that I always keep water, cooties and nasties out.
A somewhat sensitive topic, heat. Now that we are getting into the heat of summer here in China, those of you who live in China, I know you are nodding your head and thinking, the humidity is a killer! And it rightly is a killer. It’s horrible! You cannot escape it. I’ve never experienced anything like it anywhere else on my travels. It is just gross. Yucky gross. And that sun is bloody hot too. And that means melting issues. And there is really no avoiding it unfortunately. Coconut oil melts at around 22-26C, cocoa butter at about 35C and here in Liaoning we are experiencing 39C weather. In the north of China. I don’t want to think of what the south is getting. Lippy’s will soften in this temperature. So be careful when applying! I have mine in my purse all the time with no problems and have spent hours out in the sun in the high heat of the afternoon. Just be aware that if you have been in the sun, that it might get soft. If you experience any of your products melting, toss them into the fridge.
And as with water based products, keep out of direct sun light.
You may have seen our first official YouTube video about humidity and your soap. Homemade soap and humidity are not friends. The soap attracts the moisture from the air and sticks to the soap causing something called, “glycerine tears”. Then, the soap leaks everywhere. And then? When it dries? You get all these funky raised spots on the soap! It’s actually very cool! But this shows you just how amazing the soap is. The naturally occurring glycerine is a byproduct from the soap making process that usually commercial companies remove. Anyways, I digress. There are ways to store your soap to get the bar to last as long as possible. Tossing your soaps into a shoebox under the couch, or in your closet is always a good method to store your soaps. In the humidity of summer, we ship each soap with some silica packets to prevent the beading. Keep these packets and use them to store your soaps.
When you receive your soap, unpackage it. Don’t store your soap with the plastic package on. It is like your feet. Socks are great, but your feet need to air out too.
Air. Lots of air flow. Your soap caddy will play a major part in making sure your soap lasts a long time. I have a two tiered soap caddy which allows me to use one soap today, and the other tomorrow. Alternating my soap each day. This allows the soap to fully dry between use, which keeps the soap as hard as possible. Make sure your soap caddy has lots of air circulation and not a little pool of water for it to sit in.
If you use just the bar of soap straight up on your skin (this is how I use my soap!), you will find you won’t get a long use out of it. If you use a wash cloth or loofa or one of those nylon bags, you will find you will get a longer period of use from the soap. Basically, the less time the soap spends in direct contact with water, the longer it will kick around.
Water based products: close containers properly, use clean fingers, don’t add stuff to it, keep out of sunlight.
Anhydrous products: try to keep water out, close properly, keep out of sunlight, and due to the heat your product may get softer.
Soap: let dry properly in between use, store extra soaps in a cool and dark place.
This is not an extensive list by far, but these are the basic things you can do to get the most out of your product! It’s bath time!