DIY Beauty: can I make the recipe in a big batch?

When it comes to homemade beauty recipes, one of the frequent questions I get is: can I make a big batch and how long can I keep the mixture for? How can we balance convenience and at the same time, ensure that what we have made is safe enough to be used on our skin without any bacteria infection?

Because the recipes I introduce here are typically using ingredients from the kitchen or fridge, so my answer is always, make them fresh! Admittedly, some time must be devoted to putting together a homemade recipe but if you choose just two or three ingredients, then the time to put them together should be short. I’ve rarely made my stuff in a batch for a few days because most of the recipes include some form of liquid. So at the most, I’ll just refrigerate for up to three days maximum especially those containing no liquid but honey.

I don’t use preservation because I do not make creams or lotions and like I’ve said, I’ll store the mixtures for three days maximum. In the event when I have to consider preserving the product for longer like with an oil mixture, I’ve always turned to using vitamin E. Vitamin E oil is an antioxidant and will help to prolonge the shelf life of oil-based products because of its anti-oxidation properties. However, it is not a preservative, and should never be used solely as a preservative in a water-based product. Another alternative I turn to is using essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, lemon, rose, or rosemary as these are considered as natural antimicrobials. But sometimes I’m not too sure how much to add and so again I hardly resort to them unless I am following a given recipe.

Preparation tips
Here are some tips to take note when preparing your homemade beauty concoctions for storage:

  1. Wash your hands well before preparation because our fingers can be a host to bacteria. Use a spoon or a spatula to scoop what you use.
  2. Make sure that whatever you use for your DIY concoctions are sterilized or clean. I’ve always just used hot water to sterilize but if you want to go beyond that, you can also sterilize using denat or isopropyl alcohol prior to using the containers or utensils. This will help ensure that you do not introduce bacteria or contaminate your batch.
  3. Dry whatever elements you use well as water provides a medium for harmful bacteria, mold, yeast and fungi to grow over time. I always air dry what I use or I’ll use a clean paper towel if pressed for time.
  4. Ensure that your packaging is airtight especially if you plan to keep it for a few days. Natural products can oxidize and go rancid when exposed to air.
  5. Most DIY concoctions are best refrigerated or stored in a cool dark place.

If you’re frequently concocting DIY beauty recipes, you might have something more to add. Do share!


  1. Reena says:

    Thanks for posting this. ? I do worry about preserving homemade masks… that’s why I make just a small batch…
    Reena last post is: Makeup Ideas For Halloween

  2. xin says:

    great tips u have ? i haven’t been much of a DIY person when it comes to body/skin care but i am going to be ? ? when my shipment arrives that is.
    xin last post is: What is your favorite type of mask?

  3. Alexandra says:

    I prefer to make in smaller batches so that it is fresh all the time . I usually keep my DIY oils in the refrigerator to prolong the life shelf as well…and using dark bottles helps too.

  4. sesame says:

    Good point about the dark bottles!

  5. sesame says:

    Oh looking forward to reading about your DIY experience!

  6. sesame says:

    Yeah, best to make small batches and make them fresh.

  7. Numeal says:

    I have heard that there is no problem about preserving oils, or any oil-based homemade cosmetic.
    I´ve got my own recipe for a butter to hydrate and nourish my body skin.
    It´s made of Shea Butter+argan oil+ hazelnut oil+calendula oil+some drops of orange essential oil. I heat the shea butter and mix the rest of ingredients. I keep it in the bathroom, in a dark plastic container and can last up to three or four weeks, in perfect condition. In fact I do keep it till it is completely used up, no matter if it is for three or four weks. Never had any problem, though I must say I use Denat to clean all the containers, spoons and tools I use while preparing the mixture.
    Interesting post. Thank you.

  8. sesame says:

    It seems some oils tend to go rancid more easily than others although 3 to 4 weeks shouldn’t be a problem. I know grapeseed oil does…it went rancid after a few months based on my experience or it might have been my supply. So if mixing oils, it might be best to add some antioxidants or essential oils to prolong shelf life say if you want to extend before a month or more.

  9. Destiny says:

    I make up a vitamin C serum for individual use. I squirt a small amount of aloe vera gel on my palm and add vitamin C powder from the health food store, about a quarter tsp. I rub my hands together to blend, then apply to my face.

  10. Hilda says:

    Another tip is to freeze water-based products. I do that all the time especially with face toners – make a bigger batch and then freeze it in ice-cube trays. That way you can pick out one ice cube any time you need more.

  11. Chris says:

    I usually make a small batch and use it up quickly. One of the best things about DIY beauty is that it’s really fresh. I think storing a big batch kind of defeats the purpose of fresh DIY skincare.

  12. sesame says:

    I used to make the same serum but with glycerin or water for awhile too but now just use ready prepared ones. Using aloe vera is a good choice!

  13. sesame says:

    Oh that’s brilliant! Hmm…never thought of freezing but that’s an idea for toners for sure. Thanks for the tip!

  14. sesame says:

    Yup, same thoughts. But I can understand that some pple may want to make a week’s worth of stuff to use for convenience purposes so they do need some storage ideas.

  15. Swati says:

    even I prefer making small batches which if left should get finished within a week. And, anyways, I generally prefer to keep the stuff dry and add water when I am going to use it so it doesn’t create a problem.

  16. sesame says:

    Yeah…with what we use on our face, it’s really better to play it safe.

  17. Amanda says:

    I never refrigerate my homemade recipes, because I love fresh stuff! Well, but that also means that my concoction can’t be too complicated, or else it can’t fit into my hectic daily life.

  18. sesame says:

    Yes, can’t be too complicated. I prefer them fresh too…usually make on the go but sometimes, I might make a bigger portion and keep for a day or more.

  19. Chelsea says:

    Only fresh batches here too! But thanks for answering this question I have been secretly wondering ? I am in the beauty biz and I always learn something here. Any thoughts on homemade conditioners?

  20. sesame says:

    Never tried making homemade conditioners…are they for hair? I’ve seen some recipes that allow them to be kept for months.

Leave a Reply