I’m making the switch from my botanically infused witch hazel toners to hydrosols. Le sigh. I’ve thought about this a lot and here’s why I’ve decided to do it:
Making infused toners is delightful work. Watching your clear liquid turn to beautifully colored and amazing smelling works of art is mesmerizing. But it’s also time consuming, messy, and offers lots of chances for contamination. I’m super diligent in how I handle all my products. I even refuse to speak to my family when I’m working with raw materials (my 7yo sees this a person affront) for fear I might ruin everything with a microscopic drop of saliva if I talk. So the less I have to open, stir, strain, etc., the better. Witch hazel is a hydrosol, and I do plan to keep it in inventory. Rather than infusing it with lavender (one of the many ways I brew it now), I’ll chose lavender essential oil to add instead. Same smell, same benefits, no color (frown), no constant handling.
Another concern that has been playing around in the back of my mind is selling overseas. I’ve been approached by a retailer in the UK who wanted to sell The Granola Goat products in her boutique. I had to pass because the UK has different requirements than the US for cosmetics. If I ever plan to sell there (and I can’t think of a reason why I wouldn’t want to), I’ll need to move production to a lab, rather than my kitchen. I have a lab, and they will use my suppliers and my recipes, but I haven’t asked them if they’d sit around shaking bottles of witch hazel and botanical material for a couple of weeks. I don’t think that would fly.
In the end, I’ll still be shaking up bottles of witch hazel with rose petals for myself, but they won’t make it to the Etsy listings. If you just can’t stand the thought of life without infused witch hazel – I really recommend you give it a go at home. For all the ways it’s a pain in the petunia, it’s also quite rewarding.