A client of mine sheepishly confessed that she adds water to the end of her products to extend the use. Though I was mildly horrified I didn't judge her too hard. It's a trick I learned as a kid. As a matter of fact it's a trick I used before I started to make my own products and realized the real danger of doing so. So allow me to share with you why this is a bad idea.
- Mold And Bacteria. Like anything else, mold and bacteria grow and thrive in dark, wet, and warm places. This includes your body butter jars, lotion bar tubes, lotion bottles, and serum bottles. Any and all of your skin care products are especially susceptible to the growth of mold and bacteria in moist environments like your steamy bathroom and adjoining bedrooms.
- Ring Worms and Rashes. Be prepared to clean up a fungal infection or a rash if you expose your skin to filthy products. I know what you're thinking. "Well I should be safe if the mold and fungus haven't grown yet." You're right, you are safe to use the products if fungus hasn't grown. The problem is, mold and bacteria grow long before you can see the signs. Using your products after you add water and before you see the signs of mold and bacteria is a risk you may want to avoid.
- Disrespect. In addition to the health risks of using contaminated products, it's plain disrespectful to the formulator. I didn't realize just how much work goes into formulating a quality skin care product until I became a formulator myself. There are days and sometimes weeks of research, experimentation, and money put into creating one product. Many in the organic and natural skin care niche, to include myself, create unique products from scratch. So to hear that someone watered it down is a bit hurtful. No one wants their work watered down. No one.
- Preservatives. Many cosmetic makers use some type of preservation system. There are formulators who do not believe in preservatives at all and are not bothered by the risks of mold and bacteria growing after the sale. Unless you know what to look for, you may not catch that fact. In addition, antioxidants, like Vitamin E for example,are not preservatives. They just keep oils from going rancid. Antioxidants will not kill mold and bacteria. Last, not all preservation systems are created equal. So in theory a preservative should ward off new mold and bacteria, it may not. The chances are low that the preservative will fail, but a 1% chance is too much for me.
- Subscription Service. Many businesses have subscription services where you pay a bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly fee and your products are sent to you on a timed basis.
- Local Retailer. Sometimes your products are found right down the street at your local boutique or department store. If your favorite boutique and department store doesn't carry your preferred products, ask them too. Sometimes they will get right on it and find a way to be your sole provider. Other times you may have to ask them a few times. Bottomline, if your boutique and department store see the need for the products, they will work to get them.
- Buy In Bulk. Many businesses are willing to sell their products in bulk. Contact the owner and ask them what their minimum bulk quantity is and if they are able to provide a small discount. This is usually only offered to wholesale clients, however, if your purchase is large enough, they may be willing to work with you.
Bottomline, don't water down your products to make them stretch. If you are using a half decent product you should be ok, but there is still a chance that you may cause the growth of mold and bacteria. I'm not sure about you, but I take no chances with my skin. None.