Article by: Perry Romanowski

Welcome to Day 9 of the 30 Days to Become a Better Cosmetic Chemist series

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

In this episode

Here are all the types of equipment essential for any formulation lab

  • Weighing devices
  • Equipment to contain your creations
  • Mixers you need
  • Temperature control equipment
  • Devices for testing your cosmetics

Relevant to Exercise

Here is the equipment checklist

TAGS:30 days
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22 comments

  1. Julie

    I’m just getting started on formulating so gradually working into the equipment needs as finances allow. While researching, I’ve noticed a lot of ‘jewelry scales’ coming up. Would that work for this? I really need to keep the price under $100 if possible. Also, what would be a good pH meter and beaker set? The link to the pH meter above goes to a product that is no longer available.
    Thank you for your help.

    1. Perry Romanowski

      I doubt a jewelry scale will work but it depends on how accurate they are and the size of batches you are making. See our forum for a discussion of the equipment you need for starting a cosmetic lab. http://chemistscorner.com/cosmeticsciencetalk

  2. Ellie

    Always believe that equipment use in cosmetics formulation are heavy duty equipment.

  3. Dilek Brady

    Hello,
    Thank you for all the info!
    Can you recommend a reasonably priced PH meter by any chance? I am looking at Amazon.co.uk and seem only be able to find PH meters for water or liquids of similar viscosity as opposed to creams etc.
    Many thanks!

      1. Dilek Brady

        Many thanks!

  4. Merit

    Hi!
    Thank you so much for your course! So to repeat once more – if I am making gel-type products such as shampoos, I won’t need homogenizer?

    I always thought this would solve the bubble-problem (my shampoos contain too much bubbles and lathers when mixing them).

    Thanks again!

    1. Perry Romanowski

      No a homogenizer is not required for a gel or shampoo type formula.

  5. Olivia

    Excellent instructions and lecture. Thanks Perry!

  6. Chris

    I’ve been mixing 30 gram batches with a milk frother and every single time the formula ends up separating after a few weeks. Tiny bubbles also appear on the surface around the same time. Looks like I’ll have to invest in an overhead mixer, but they tend to be so expensive. 🙁

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Yes. This is one area in which you shouldn’t skimp. A frother specifically incorporates air into a mixture which will inhibit the formation of a stable emulsion. You could try something like this mixer.

      1. Chris

        Thanks for the tip Perry.

  7. Ashlynn

    Wonderful listen! I am an aspiring cosmetic formulator of natural and organic mineral products and hope to someday have my own small brand. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am currently learning all I can, while formulating for myself in my home with basic home-style equipment.

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Thanks for commenting and the kind words!

  8. Kathryn

    Thank you Perry for your course so far.

    Please would you advise the model of the Brookfield viscometer that you would recommend. Their lowest cost digital model DV-E is £3,124.80, which is somewhat higher than the guide price you suggest.

    Also, what brand and type of mixer would you recommend? What is the difference between say a high shear mixer and a homogeniser? I am familiar with the Silverson high shear mixers and Ultra Turrax homogenisers but not sure which to choose nor which model.

    Any guidance on the above would be most appreciated.

    Thank you.

    1. Perry Romanowski

      For the Brookfield Viscometer I would recommend you get the dial reading one. That should be much less expensive but will still work fine for cosmetic applications.

      A homogenizer is more appropriate for making fine particle emulsions (creams). A high shear mixer is more appropriate for making most other cosmetic products like shampoos, body wash, conditioners, gels, etc. Ideally, you would get both but if you could only get one, I’d got with the high shear mixer.

      Most people in the cosmetic industry use Silverson mixers. Cat Scientific also has some mixers which are more reasonably priced for someone on a budget. http://www.catscientific.com/overhead-stirrers/

  9. Lara

    Thanks a lot Perry! What is the reason, that you propose to make Batches min. 400g?

    1. Joseph Vernice

      Hello Lara, One reason is that you need a minimum volume in order to test viscosity. Usually, viscosity testing requires 400 grams of product in a 600 mL beaker.

      Best regards,
      Joe Vernice

      1. Lara

        Hi Joe,
        thanks a lot! We have two different Apparatus for viscosity measurement. One brookfield (where a bigger Batch is required) and one that is called AR 1500ex that is measuring viscosity with a sample ~2g. So this could be the reason why we also set up smaller Batches.
        Best regards,
        Lara

    2. Perry Romanowski

      What Joe said. Plus, with smaller batches you are more prone to weighing errors having a much bigger impact on the final formula percents. And you get less realistic mixing conditions.

      1. Lara

        Thanks Perry!

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