Article by: Perry Romanowski
If you want to be a cosmetic chemist and make cosmetic products, there is certain essential equipment that you’ll need to get.
Basic cosmetic Lab equipment
1. Weighing equipment. To make proper measurements of the raw materials, you’ll need a good balance. Be sure to get one that can measure up to at least 500g.
Other weighing equipment that helps includes disposable pipettes (for measuring liquids) and weigh boats (for measuring solids).
2. Containers. The most common container you’ll use to make a cosmetic formula is a beaker. You’ll need a variety of sizes because you’ll be making different sized batches. Be sure to have a number of 500mL, 800mL, 1000mL, 1500ml and 2000mL beakers. You really want 400g to be the minimum size batch you make.
3. Mixers. In college, you most frequently used a magnetic stirrer to mix your creations. These are rarely used in a cosmetic lab. For mixing, you’ll want an industrial type mixer, something like the Lightnin mixer. It is like a single blade hand mixer with a variable speed control. Quite handy.
4. Controlling Temperature. Most cosmetic formulas require heating and cooling so a good hot plate is a must.
Sometimes you can air cool batches but for things like emulsions, you’ll want to have a water bath for cooling it down quickly. This could simply be a tub you fill with cold water and ice.
5. Testing equipment. After you’ve finished a cosmetic formulation, you’ll need to test it to ensure that it meets specifications. For this, you’ll want to have a pH meter and a viscometer (for measuring rheology).
Of course no cosmetic lab would be complete without a good stock of cosmetic raw materials. Which of these you have will depend on the type of formulas you make. Everyone will want to have a supply of deionized water. Most will also want to have a stock of common preservatives, acids, bases, and dye solutions.
Fortunately, if you work for a company they’ll have this stuff for you. They’ll also have more specific equipment for the types of formulas you’ll mostly be working on. However, if you are setting up your own lab or helping your company get into the field of cosmetic science, be sure to stock your lab with the proper equipment.
What equipment do you use for cosmetic formulations? Leave your comment below.