Article by: Perry Romanowski
A question was posed to us recently about creating consistent cosmetic products and formulations. Basically, the reader wanted to know how you do it. The answer is probably the same whether you are making cosmetics, cars, or computers…Consistency.
Use consistent raw materials
When you make a formula you need to use the same ingredients every time you make a batch. Ideally, you would use ingredients that are even from the same batch of raw material produced by your supplier. However, this isn’t possible because you will eventually run out of that lot. What you should keep consistent is who you get the raw material from (supplier) and the specifications of the cosmetic raw material that you get. If you have a consistent supplier and specification for a raw material you are well on your way to producing a consistent product.
Consistent ingredient levels
Using the right ingredients is important but equally important is using the right levels of these ingredients. When you weigh out the amount of raw material you’re going to use to make the formula you have to be consistent in how much you use. This can be challenging as some raw materials tend to stick to the side of weighing containers and sometimes you just pour too much onto the scale. One of the most common reasons for a batch not turning out the way you expect is because of inconsistent weighing. Ideally, you will have no more than a 5% error in your ingredient weighing.
How you make a batch is almost as important as which ingredients you use. To have a consistent, high quality product you need to combine the ingredients in the same way every time. You should keep track of the mixing speeds, the equipment, and the time for making the batch. These should be the same every time you make a new batch. Also, the temperature should be consistent too as should when you add ingredients. To get the best chance of making a repeatable product you should make the product the same way every time.
Another thing to consider is after the batch is made. You need to be consistent in the way that you fill the product into containers. You can effect the viscosity if you send the product through a small nozzle or you try to fill it too quickly. The method of filling can definitely affect the final product.
Cosmetic product testing
Finally, you need to do some consistent testing to ensure that your batches are indeed consistent from batch to batch. This would be things like viscosity and pH measurements plus color, odor, and appearance evaluations. Do the testing at the same temperature using the same equipment.
Creating a high quality cosmetic product is not difficult but it can be made much simpler if you do one thing…be consistent.