There has been a movement of late toward ‘handcrafted’, ‘all-natural’, ‘small batch’, ‘artisanal’ and ‘hand-made’. Whether it’s cosmetics, food or beverages, the implication is that these products are somehow superior or safer for you to consume. While this may very well be the case in some instances, it’s not always true.
When it comes to handcrafted skin care products, you may want to consider a few things before you jump on the bandwagon.
- Where Was The Small Batch Product Produced? While there is nothing inherently wrong with whipping things up in your kitchen, a kitchen is quite different to a dedicated manufacturing facility. Labs that produce cosmetics for retail purposes (or commercial kitchens that prepare food) are often government inspected and must prove that they follow stringent protocols to ensure the safety of the end product. Wiping down the counter with rubbing alcohol isn’t good enough!
- Quality Control. Can you guarantee that each batch is the same? A solid formulation, proper equipment and knowledge regarding ingredient sourcing help to ensure that the tenth batch is the same as the first one. If policies and procedures aren’t adhered to, there is no way to guarantee that every batch will be the same.
- Contamination/Safety. Whether from unhygienic equipment or surfaces; tainted ingredients or improper preservation, there is always the risk for contamination. While this is true even for experienced producers, the chances of contamination increase with individuals who are less experienced. Contaminated skin care products not only smell and look bad, they may also contain bacteria, mold or fungi, making them downright dangerous to apply to your skin. Preservative free products sitting out in the sun all day? Um, no thanks!
- Elegance. Otherwise known as a pleasing texture, small batch cosmetics often feel thick, heavy and greasy. Not always, but in general, I have not been impressed by products whipped up by home crafters. I’m not sure whether it’s inexperience, the choice of ingredients or lack of proper equipment that leads to this, but if it doesn’t feel good on my skin, I’m not going to use it. No matter how safe it claims to be.
- Efficacy. Many handcrafted skin care lines focus on being ‘natural’. Natural isn’t a regulated word so it can mean anything. Yes, it may be safe, but is it really doing anything for your skin? Before you believe the claims, check out the ingredient list to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.
I love summer with its many outdoor events including festivals and markets and I always have a blast checking out local vendors who often set up stalls. Whether it’s beautiful jewelry, pottery, or decadent desserts, I love to wander and sample – it’s exciting to discover something new and feels good to support a small, local business if I can. I like to peruse handcrafted skin care products as well, but I’m very cautious about what I purchase because I understand the process behind creating safe and effective products. I hope that this post has helped you too.