Article by: Perry Romanowski

Welcome to Day 13 of the 30 Days to Become a Better Cosmetic Chemist series

This 30 day challenge is all about giving you lessons and basic exercises that will improve your abilities as a cosmetic chemist. basic-chemistry

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In this episode

On today’s program we’re going to step back and talk about chemistry. Specifically, we’ll be going over some of the most important basic principles in chemistry that are applicable to the job of a cosmetic formulator. Most of the things you learn in college about chemistry are not relevant to your job as a formulator. But some of them are. Today, we’ll talk about those.

In this episode you’ll find:

  • What are elements and why should a formulator care
  • The various types of molecules
  • Chemical bonds and reactions
  • Phases of matter as they matter to chemists
  • The science of solutions
  • How pH affects your formulations

Relevant to Exercise

Go check out the Khan Academy.  Here is the free course in general chemistry.

TAGS:30 days


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    Minor quibble – Hydrogen does not have any neutrons, at least not the most common isotope.
    With respect to the “solubility rules” for water, you stated that hydroxides, except for those containing sodium, calcium, or barium, are generally insoluble. Sodium hydroxide is certainly soluble at 1110 g/L at 20 C and potassium hydroxide is saturated at 1210 g/L at 25 C. Calcium hydroxide is only saturated at 1.73 g/L at 20 C, 3 orders of magnitude less soluble than either NaOH or KOH. Does this mean that Ca(OH)2 is considered soluble for the purposes of cosmetic formulation work?

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      Perry Romanowski

      Thanks! You’re right about Hydrogen. Sorry I missed that.

      Calcium hydroxide is partially soluble in water but it is typically not used in cosmetic formulations.

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      Perry Romanowski

      Yes. Different cosmetics are formulated at different pHs. Also, the preservative system you are using might have an impact on what pH you formulate to.

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    Thanks a lot Perry for all the Information, experience and free sources you share with us! Thanks! 🙂

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