Steadily growing awareness about the potential health risks from the harsh chemicals used in beauty products, is leading more and more consumers to turn to natural formulations. This has created rising demand for herbs and plant based ingredients for use in cosmetic industry. But many companies have bought such raw material in bulk without understanding the nature of their shelf life. Natural ingredients such as Essential Oils and other herbs are plant based, and are, therefore, perishable. Herbally Radiant has been particular in ensuring that it manufactures its herbal skin care products in small fresh batches to ensure their safety. All its products are made with USDA certified organic ingredients.
The normal shelf life for high oleic oils (sunflower and safflower) is generally 2 years from the date of manufacture. Keeping them longer will make them go rancid due to oxidation. Unrefined oils are not as stable as refined ones. On the other hand saturated fats like coconut and palm are very stable, and can occasionally last up to 3 years.
Essential Oils, especially citrus oils, are very sensitive to light, heat and exposure to oxygen. However, all these can be stabilized with a bit of tocopherol to increase their shelf life.
Because the safety norms for cosmetic products are lax, it is important for the consumers to make sure that they buy genuinely natural products that have not outlived their shelf life. A careful reading of the labels should tell the consumers about the ingredients, so it pays to hone a keen eye when it comes to examining product labels. Unfortunately the words “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated labeling terms. One could go through the site of Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database which rates popular cosmetics and personal-care products with hazard scores on a scale of 0 to 10, depending on their toxicity.
For further reference one could go to the sites like Campaign for Safe Cosmetic, The Green Beauty Guide and of course, Environmental Working Group.