Frequently asked questions: How long does natural makeup last before spoiling?

If I'm going to tell you all the positives.....that we use a short list of clean ingredients without the use of toxins, synthetics or preservatives..... the logical follow-up question might be:

"Well that's great, but if you don't use conventional preservatives what about bacteria and mold and other nasties that might start lurking in my makeup quickly after purchasing it?  Will my investment be a waste?"  

Let me try and explain a few things about our process.

When I started formulating cosmetics years ago, I wanted to leave out any ingredient that wasn't necessary and still have a superior product.  One of those methods involved using oil-based and oil and wax-based formulas instead of the traditional oil and water bases.  Changing this had huge pay-offs by way of the ingredient list!  We could now leave out preservatives because water was being left out of the formulation.  

This was so exciting to me because not only could it be a much cleaner formula, it was still a safe product!     

You all probably learned when you were in middle school that water breeds bacteria. Put a glass of water on the counter and eventually little creepy crawlies will start growing in it.  Yuck.  But oil is a different story.  Let's take olive oil for instance.  Over time it will get rancid but it won't grow mold or bacteria.  Big difference.  Oils need only to be protected from going rancid, not from growing harmful bacteria.  

The reason a lot of companies have to add preservatives to protect against Gram (+) and Gram (-) bacteria is because the products are made using water.  Without a preservative your eyeliner would start growing mold within a week!  Not good business sense. 

So because we use oil-based products along with oil and wax bases as opposed to water-based formulas, we need only to protect the oils from going rancid not from the water in the formula growing mold.

Let's take our Luxury Skin Care Line as an example of an oil based product. Step 1 and Step 3 contain no water at all so you won't see a preservative in the ingredient list but you will see Vitamin E - the insurance for those precious oils.  

Our Moisturizing Facial Sticks are produced using an oil and wax base.  The label lists Vitamin E to keep the integrity of the oils in tact, but you'll also see Rosemary Seed Extract thrown in there.  Rosemary Seed Extract is used in conjunction with Vitamin E to protect the very unstable Borage Seed Oil.  Borage Seed Oil is fantastic for acne and eczema but it goes rancid fairly quickly.  Adding in Rosemary Seed Extract helps to slow it down. 

So now you might be a little more satisfied with why we don't use preservatives in our final product, but you also might be wondering about having your products in an environment where water is often present - the bathroom.  What if water gets into the jars and starts producing mold?  That's another valid question.  

There is one precaution you can easily integrate into your routine to ensure your product lasts as long as it should.  It may sound simplistic but it's worked for us for a lot of years.  

Use clean and dry applicators when dipping into your jars.  

Plunging a wet cosmetic brush or wet sponge into the jars or containers could start a problem you don't want starting - so think dry. 

You may also ask, "What if I use my fingers to apply?  I do this too, especially with blush, but just make sure you use clean, dry hands, or better yet, clean, dry brushes.  Easy Peasy.  If you like to use a sponge to apply foundation, first dip a foundation brush into the jar and use the brush to apply lightly on the face then finish. Come back with a sponge and smooth it all out for an airbrushed finish. 

So how long do our products last?  About 9-12 months if used properly which is ample time to use them up.  Most cosmetic companies recommend throwing out cosmetics long before that heed their advice and don't use your eyeliner for 4 years....even if there's some left in the jar.  So hard to do- I get that!  

And if you're about to get all OCD on me with cleanliness....please don't....this blog post is meant to let you in on our formulating process and the great reasons we can leave out common toxins, not to get you all panicky!  Our family, friends and many customers have been using our products for years without trouble.....and some...aka Madeline....haven't always been very careful (when she was younger she used to plunge a damp sponge in her jars all the time...much to the despair of her mother.....and she lived through it!)  So don't worry,  I trust you!

It's such a win not having to use preservatives that I've tried hard to make sure you have clean and safe products that work amazingly!  

One last thing......about our powder formulas.  This includes Loose Powder Foundation, Setting Powder and Eyeshadow.  They're honestly an amazing investment especially for those who don't wear makeup everyday like me.  These powders last a VERY long time and won't have to be discarded in a year.    

Hope this helps!