Welcome to the kitchen! I am excited to share with you a glimpse of what goes into making the AJ Apothecary products you love!
The magic all begins with a blend of herbs, flowers, or botanical elements that I infuse into a carrier oil, such as avocado oil or sunflower oil. Doing this allows the oil to take on the skin soothing and body benefiting properties of the botanicals. My oils go through a double infusion process. I begin by combining the botanicals and oil in a large canning jar (very fancy, I know!). After the jar sits in a water bath for 8 hours I strain the botanicals from the oil, replace them with fresh herbs, and set the jar aside to infuse on its own for approximately 8 weeks. When the oil is prepared I strain the botanicals again and add the power packed infused oil to the product.
To add to my “fancy” equipment, glass Pyrex measuring cups are my favorite items to use! Before AJ Apothecary was even an idea in my head I made products for myself and my family in my home kitchen using the materials and equipment I had available. Now that AJ Apothecary is open I see no reason to change what has been working for me. I love the glass measuring cups for their practical measuring purposes, but they also make it easy to pour the finished product into its packaging container.
The various sizes of Pyrex measuring cups are perfect for the small batches of product I make. I prefer to make small batches because that ensures the product stays fresher longer. The average shelf life of my products is 12-18 months. I could make large batches of product, but then the product would spend the majority of its life on my shelf rather than yours. My aim with AJ Apothecary is to provide you with luxurious, natural, and safe body care products, and that includes making sure that the products stay fresh and stay safe for you as long as possible. The Moisturizing Deodorant Cream I’m making in these photos is probably the largest product batch I make, which yields approximately 15-30 jars of deodorant cream, depending upon the jar size I’m pouring.
On the subject of jars, did you know those little glass jars actually serve a purpose in keeping products fresh? Amber colored glass packaging was the best option for the majority of the products because glass is a safer material to use than plastic for cosmetics. There are some safe plastic packaging available, and as I expand the Bath Collection I will begin using safe plastic for those products to minimize the likelihood of packages breaking in the bath. However, some ingredients, such as essential oils, often interact with plastic, so glass is the better option here to minimize byproduct effects. Additionally, the amber color of the jars serves as a filter, and it reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the product. Sunlight can heat the contents of the jar, change the properties, and cause the product to go rancid quicker. Therefore, those beautiful amber colored glass jars maintain the integrity of the products you love.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse into the AJ Apothecary kitchen! Do you have a specific question about something I do? Are you curious about an ingredient? Please get in touch with me! I love to hear from my customers, and I would love to answer your questions!
Have a beautiful day!