Sterilization - Cosmetic Science Talk

Sterilization

For those who are manufacturing their skincare products at home, how do you sterilize your equipment and containers?

a. wash with soap
b. hot water bath
c. 5% bleach solution bath
d. spray with alcohol
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Comments

  • Firstly, you really don't sterilize, you are sanitizing. Sterile properties are only maintained or achieved in a sterile manufacturing setting such as a laminar flow hood.

    Your first and best measure is to buy packaging components from a reputable supplier, keep the outer packaging secure as long as possible and to try not to stock more than you can use within a reputable period.

    Soap, hot water and bleach are out for multiple reasons. In sanitary cGMP manufacturing, spraying surfaces and components with a 70% Isopropyl alcohol solution is quite common.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • Thank you for the guidance @Microformulation!
  • I use 70% ethanol.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • In the US and many other places, IPA is easier to get and works as well. You have the right ABV though. Several years ago a Microbiologist mentioned that he had observed that the 90% IPA or in your case 190 proof Ethanol did not work as well. He postulated that it had to do with contact time. I will have to see if he published his findings.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • I use  Hydrogen peroxide for processing containers after washing them with glass washing liquids. Usually I get 20 cfu/g in the end. To be confident of the required 3% concentration I use 7% Hydrogen peroxide.
  • edited September 8
    Belassi  How do you dry plastic containers after processing them with Alcohol? Glass container can be dried in oven under 50-60C temperature.

  • To dry the containers I just leave them upside down to air dry, doesn't take long.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • Hydrogen peroxide can be reactive, hence the reason it is avoided.

    Alcohol will evaporate after being sprayed on as a sanitizer.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • I use IPA and Ethanol. Both at 70%
  • if the containers were glass could they not be microwaved?
  • Why. you don't need sterilization. Just sanitary conditions. If you have ever done any sterile laminar manufacturing, you would see how pointless it is in sterilizing a component that will then subsequently be processed under sanitary conditions. Complete overkill.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications.
  • Guys, for the lip stick & lip gloss containers, is it necessary to sanitize them before filling?
  • Not unless your product has water in it.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • 70% or 90% IPA works just fine.  Just dip your glass equipment and other small items into an alcohol bath and let them air dry.

    If you want to be super cautious, run your glassware and small items in a dishwasher and then dip them in the alcohol bath.

    For larger pieces of equipment, spray everything down with IPA and let air dry.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    Provides Formulation Development and Lab-Scale Contract Manufacturing Services.  See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

  • edited September 28
    I would be cautious using strong oxidizers like bleach.
    I use 70% IPA

    You only need sterile untensils if your concoctions would require an ISO certified clean room in a laminar airflow workbench for example, like Mark points out. Unless you prepare parenterals etc there is no need for sterilizing.
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