Jan 21, 2017

Notes to Self

As I start my venture into the DIY homemade handcrafted bath and body (cosmetic) business, I find I'm constantly writing down notes only to lose them over time. So just for my own personal reference, I'm cataloging all my fact finding here and intend to grow this list of information over time. This blog post is solely for reference only. If you see any errors, concerns or would like to add-on or offer advice on any of this information feel free to contact me or leave a comment below!

Abbreviations and their Meanings

  • EO = Essential Oils
  • INCI = International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients
  • PET (plastic resin - used for containers) = Polyethylene Terephthalate
  • ROE = Rosemary Oil Extract

Commonly Used INCI Names

  • Baking SodaSodium Bicarbonate
  • Beeswax Cera Alba
  • Citric Acid = Citric Acid
  • Coconut Oil = Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil
  • Coffee = Coffea Arabica (Coffee)
  • Corn StarchZea mays (Corn) Starch
  • Epsom Salt = Magnesium Sulfate
  • Lemon = Citrus Medica Limonum
  • OatmealAvena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Meal
  • Rosemary Oil Extract = Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract
  • Salt = Sodium Chloride
  • Sugar = Sucrose
  • Vanilla (bean) = Vanilla Planifolia
  • Vitamin E = Tocopherol


Basics of Cosmetic Labels (Canada)

  • Ingredient list using INCI in descending order (highest concentration first)
  • Product Identity / Purpose in English & French (ex "bath bombs")
  • Net quantity in metric
  • manufacturer - name & address
  • warnings / cautions / directions for safe use
  • * Can't fit on product itself may be attached to it on card, tag, etc
  • * best practice to include date created and keep log of which recipe was used

Storage and Shelf Life of Homemade Products

Note: I can't find direct information on how long a homemade product keeps (shelf life) as every product is different and contains different ingredients with different expiry dates. This is just a guideline based on what I've experienced from reading countless recipes, blogs and from personal experience. 

The best solution is: use as soon as possible (esp. if the product doesn't contain preservatives and antioxidants); keep out of direct sunlight; keep in a cool, dry location (such as a cupboard); keep away from moisture / water; and keep the container sealed to prevent oxidation / rancidity of the ingredients.

  • Use within 1 week of creating / opening (best to be used within 2-3 days of creation)
  • Can keep some products in fridge for up to 3 months, out of fridge for 1 month - based on ingredients. 
  • Ingredients with preservatives and antioxidants may keep longer (6 months to 1 year)
  • Best before date - use the date that will expire the soonest. Example if one product expires on 01/01/2017 and the rest expire on 01/01/2018 you would use 2017 as your BB date. 
  • Do NOT store products containing essential oils in plastic containers ((use glass) may be able to use PET containers?). 

How to tell if a product is bad

  • Smells, tastes or looks "funny" (discontinue using and discard immediately) 
  • Mould, mildew, orange spots, rancid - generally caused by water, air or bacteria growing on/in the product during various stages of production, mishandling or storage. 

Where to Buy Ingredients in Brantford

This is based on personal research and preference. I don't sponsor or endorse any of these businesses (and they don't sponsor or endorse me either!), they may just simply be the only places to get these ingredients locally without having to order online. If you know of any other retailers, especially wholesalers please let me know in the comments below. I prefer to buy local, but price is also a major factor ;) 

  • Citric Acid - Goodness! Me seems to be the only local BULK supplier of this
  • Coconut Oil - I've found Walmart to have the most reliable selection of solid coconut oil (which I prefer), though I have seen some at Food Basics as well. 
  • Baking Soda - It's tough finding the really big boxes of this, most stores are hit and miss. I believe the last place I got a large box was No Frills.
Of course you can also keep an eye on eBay for ingredients and packaging. 

Essential Oils

  • Essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil in a 3-5% solution. That's roughly 3-5 drops of EO per teaspoon of carrier oil (like coconut, almond, etc.).
  • Some oils cause photosensitivity (sensitivity to light), mostly citrus oils like orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit. This can cause skin to burn easier, blister and discolor. 
  • EOs are not recommended for use on nursing or pregnant women and children for various reasons
  • Fragrance oils are synthetic and are NOT natural
Oils that are considered relaxants: Tea Tree, Lavender, Frankencense.
Oils that are considered stimuli: Peppermint, Citrus (Lemon / Grapefruit)
Oils good for illness: Eucalyptus, Oregano



  1. Hello !! We are a cosmetics company called ZINEGLOB and also wa are proud to informe you that we have clients spread all across the word like Europn and USA.
    We provide hight Quality products made from premium raw materials sourced locally and aroud the world, the ingridiants which includes Argan Oil, Prickly pear, and rose water.

  2. We at zineglob are proud to introduce our products we can guarantee that it’s one of the best in the market in Morocco .
    We provide hight quality products made from premium raw materials sourced locally and aroud the wold , the ingrediants which includes Argan Oil, Prickly pear, and Rose water are certified organic
    We have launched our products at a very resonable price so as every client can enjoy it’s features. Our Products are gathering quite a positive feedback from customers , and many Of Our Vendors be glad if you become on our customers .