herbs, spices, salt, lavender

After the post about the dangers of DIYs, I didn’t want to leave you hanging DIY dry! I figured a helpful followup would be to offer a pro’s guide to safe DIYs with the person who not only created a website and app dedicated to making them, but also harnessed her in-depth knowledge of ingredients to lead an online teaching platform.

With a reach of 300,000 subscribers, students, and social media followers, Lorraine Dallmeier offers the most comprehensive and largest online training program for organic cosmetic formulators and skincare entrepreneurs. When someone decides to pursue a career in product development, Formula Botanica is the place to study with close to 2000 students in 94 countries. It is accredited by the UK’s Open & Distance Learning Quality Council, who are affiliated with the European Association of Distance Learning.

Lorraine’s expertise stood out years ago on her former blog, Herb & Hedgerow, and I was thrilled to tap into it for her first interview on edible facial exploring the essential steps to reading a product label accurately. Today, she shares exactly what we need to know to create a safe DIY.

According to Lorraine, the takeaway is: “DIY is fun but you should still make sure you educate yourself on your ingredients using reputable websites.”←Tweet this!

The following excerpt was taken with her permission from our email exchange, and I’m always grateful to share her sound advice that’s based on scientific research and experience.

Lorraine Dallmeier:

The key is to being able to study and question different aspects of cosmetics—not following the EWG but actually understanding how ingredients work together and work on the skin.

I have to put a caveat in my previous statement however—I LOVE DIY recipes. 🙂 That’s the a reason I run DIY Beauty Diva and I sell my BeautyCraft app! So I think you should still say yes to DIY because it’s so much fun, but if you say yes just be aware that certain ingredients come with risks.

The biggest risk about DIY however is the shelf life of products. There is nothing wrong with mushing up an avocado and putting it on your hair, but if you then leave it on a humid bathroom shelf for a month, clearly no one wants to or should apply that to their hair or skin. DIY products should really be used within 1-2 days if they contain water or fresh plants and if they’re not preserved. That’s why I was so alarmed by that recipe because it asked you to use aloe vera gel (possibly fresh and unpreserved) and then apply it to your eye area. That’s an infection waiting to happen.

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Read this before you follow another Beauty DIY recipe!

My six rules for DIY beauty recipes are:

1. Any unpreserved water or plant-based DIY recipe does not have a shelf life of more than 2 days. This includes recipes made with flower waters, teas, herbal infusions and aloe vera gel. Do not keep water or plant-based DIY products any longer.

2. Keep all water or plant-based DIY products in the fridge after you’ve made them.

3. Do not follow any DIY recipe that advocates using neat essential oils on the skin.

4. Research any DIY recipe that uses high percentages of essential oils. Make sure those oils are safe for use on the skin. Examples of oils you should be wary of include those that cause photosensitivity (e.g. certain citrus oil for instance) or those which can irritate in high percentages.

5. Be careful in applying any DIY recipe around the eye, or on the skin of infants, pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems in particular.

6. DIY recipes should never be used for suncare. Plant oils do not provide a measurable SPF and you can seriously damage your skin and your health by using DIY products for suncare.

There are of course other points to keep in mind: you should ensure you’re not applying ingredients with a high pH to your low pH skin (this is the reason that so many baking soda deodorants lead to rashes and irritations); you should avoid applying citrus juices to your skin before you go in the sun; you should avoid harsh abrasive ingredients such as sea salt on the face, etc.

DIY is fun but you should still make sure you educate yourself on your ingredients using reputable websites.

Thank you so much, Lorraine. Was this information helpful? Let us know in the comments! For an easy to follow guide on safe essential oils, check out this post on the Meow Meow Tweet blog.

Also The Glow Summit is happening now! If you want to learn about nutrition, mindfulness and how to get your glow on, with some expert makeup artist tips, then you need to sign up for this! The first, FREE, online green beauty and wellness event, featuring some of the latest and greatest experts in the field. Oh, and ME! You can sign up here for FREE and use the hashtag #glowsummit to share.

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