Natural products have a shorter shelf life than those packed with chemicals, but storing them properly can prolong their effectiveness. If you are using any natural products that use only minimal and natural preservatives, try these seven simple tips for making them last longer:
- Only buy a small amount. Check the shelf life of the product and only buy the amount that you can use in that period of time; no more. Confused about the shelf life of a product? Look for the "jar symbol" to find out -- learn about this symbol here.
- Store in a cool, dark place. Any natural product will last longer when it's kept out of direct sunlight and at a regular (ideally cool) temperature. High temperatures, fluctuating temperatures, direct sunlight and humidity are all enemies of natural products. Sometimes, they're unavoidable; but store your natural products away from these conditions whenever possible to make them last longer. On that note...
- Keep it in the fridge for certain more volatile ingredients or if it’s a seasonal item. If you have a natural product that is seasonal, consider storing it in the fridge until it's back in season. Certain ingredients are especially unstable and should be stored in the fridge whenever possible. These include carrier oils like red raspberry, rosehip, grapeseed and sesame seed. Any product that doesn't include any preservative should be stored in the fridge and will only last up to a few weeks, depending on ingredients.
- Avoid using your fingers — use a clean spatula or popsicle stick. If you do need to use your fingers to dip into a jar of a natural salve or creme, wash your hands well first to avoid transferring bacteria and debris that could cause the product to spoil faster. Ideally, we suggest you use a plastic, metal or wood utensil to dip into your product, and wash it as needed. If using popsicle sticks, you also have the option of composting.