This lesson introduces you to the 4 different types of testing that are done to cosmetic products.Β  Formula testing is something you will spend lots of time on in your career as a cosmetic chemist so it is important to become familiar with the primary types.Β  This video includes information about the following topics

  • QA/QC testing
  • Stability testing
  • Safety testing
  • Product performance testing

Download the slides

If you would like to download the slides, feel free to do so here.


184 thoughts on “Cosmetic Science Mini-Course Lesson 4

  1. Avatar
    mohammed hafez says:

    Very valuable
    And carries new information and great
    I hope to be an expert in the field of cosmetic industry
    Thank you

  2. Avatar
    mohamed khalil says:

    I wait your excellent videos , but now I’m angry because this video is the last one ,
    We need to know more and more about formulations and Active materials , πŸ™‚
    but it is great work πŸ™‚

  3. Avatar
    andrianto says:

    Thanks so much Perry. I think the last session is the most important one. I already know QC/QA and stability testing, but safety and perfomance test are quite new info to me. Need to learn more on these subjects.

  4. Avatar
    Steve Herman says:

    Everyone thinks they can have their own cosmetic line- or make their own perfumes, for that matter.
    The products are everywhere and everyone uses them, and they look simple, but nobody thinks about the nuts-and-bolts knowledge and resources needed to create them and make them safe and effective.
    These four videos are a great introduction for anyone interested in cosmetics but unaware of how much is involved in the industry. I have already forwrded a link to someone in Egypt who is just getting started.
    On another note, as a teacher and lecturer, I am alway impressed (jealous?) of your use of technology to get your message across. Great work, congratulations.
    Steve Herman

  5. Avatar
    Kacie says:

    I’ve really enjoyed all four of these mini-lessons. They are just the perfect length for me to watch in the little breaks in my day, and they are high-level enough to be informative but not confusing for a novice. Great work! I hope to check out the full training program soon.

  6. Avatar
    Tara says:

    Yup, this was a great end to a great little series. Bit of a teaser really, because now I have to take the full course ;-)1

  7. Avatar
    Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the videos! While I am not in the cosmetic industry, but an accountant/auditor by trade, I found these videos very informative and helped me gain an overview of what is involved in cosmetic industry. Recently, I began “formulating” products due to my sister’s sensitivities to products on the market; specifically I was looking for products with the bare minimum of ingredients needed to do the job and leave out any excesses. I started with the aromatherapy route, as there is so much free information on the web (now I’ve learned that I need to put on my auditor “hat” on when reviewing the information, as anyone can say anything they want, in addition to incorrect information being reprinted over and over). I originally assumed that my sister’s skin issues must be due to all these “horrible” chemicals, but now am of the concensus that it was probably only certain ingredient(s) that were causing the problem (don’t know which ones). While I still review my aromatherapy sites, even though at times the information is just not definitive enough, I researched the internet and found your site, which for me has been a great resource (might be because the auditor in me likes to see the supporting documentation showing why something is what it is, which this site helps to provide). Your site also got me looking about other cosmetic chemistry type sites, instead of limiting myself. I do have one question, can a lay person like me benefit from the cosmetic training course (I did take some chemistry, biology, and anatomy and physiology classes in college – but that was 10 years ago)? Again, thanks for the videos!

  8. Avatar
    Deb says:

    Perry, I appreciate the intro videos into cosmetic chemistry. Believe will be a bit before I can commit myself to more studies am already fully loaded but at least now I have some background info that I need to consider before beginning to formulate my signature skin care range. Regards Deb

  9. Avatar
    Arsalan says:

    Please Can you type the names of the Skin Test devices that you have mentioned in the Performance Testing section of your video? I couldn’t catch them very well. Thanks πŸ™‚

  10. Avatar
    Linda Crenshaw says:

    I cannot wait to put my idea to the test. However, I need to know how to go about doing that. I’ve seen all four class
    and I still have some questions. Does a person have to be in a lab to test and put together their products idea? Or perhalps
    there someone that listen to your idea and tell you if your ready to be conducting lab testing to experience and make your
    product come alive?

  11. Avatar
    Cheryl says:

    Thanks Perry for this informative lesson. You confirmed my testing practices and provided me with additional knowledge. I really appreciate all the effort put into publishing these lessons. Your book, Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry, has become my primary guide.

  12. Avatar
    Taycir says:

    Hello Perry,
    Thanks for this lesson.
    I’m very intersting about science cosmetic and i would have information more specific in formulation, quality control, stability product and regulation for cosmetic product.

  13. Avatar
    Kate says:

    Hi Perry
    That was great, and of all the information you have presented thus far, the most pertinent to me. I am just waiting for labels to come and then I will start selling my first two products- I have deep cleansing clay facials (for dry, normal, and oily skins) and also 30 shades of loose powder mineral eye shadows. I am currently designing and testing blushes. Since all the products are mostly dry clays and minerals I am not terribly worried about chemical stability. Maybe just for the dry My main concern is to make sure that my products don’t grow anything creepy once opened and in use. I am in the tropics and make up actually goes bad here. Sometimes it goes rancid (in the case of lip products) and pressed powder cosmetics often grow a hard shell with use that of course instead of throwing it away, people scrape at the shadow to get the powder up off the cake. No that isn’t good… but people do it! My product will be the first of its kind in Belize- loose mineral make-up is simply not available here with the exception of the test samples I gave away. The ladies love them and are eagerly awaiting the product launch. They are also already demanding blushes, foundations, concealers, etc.
    What I am interested in testing now is shelf-life as it pertains to bacterial growth in the product. It’s nice to know I only have to worry about a year, but Perry women have been known to keep make-up for several years and keep using it. There are hundreds of magazine and other articles out there that tell you to throw cosmetics away long before they are used up but nobody actually does that unless they are really tired of something or it goes bad. Or they look at it one day and realize it’s been like 8 years, maybe they should just throw it away! I found some great brushes that inhibit bacterial growth as well as some little plastic artist palettes people could use instead of the lid for dispensing the product. I think pressing the make-up exposes it to more bacteria since your brush or that spongy applicator thing they threw in touches what you have not yet worn over and over again. I also think this problem becomes several times worse in a warm, humid place where bacteria, moulds, and fungi like to grow.
    I know I need to test how long a sealed product stays bacteria free, and also how long make-up used according to my system stays bacteria free after you have opened and begun to use it. Besides how long it wears, bacterial growth in the make-up is the number one concern for ladies in the tropics. At this point I have a small lab and I’m the only one working- everything is hand-made in small batches. I plan to do simple monitoring for bacteria in-house, but of course need to send the occasional sample for external testing. How often should I do this? Also, I can test my own make-up for bacterial growth- yes, I use what I make and follow my own system- but wouldn’t it be a good idea to test some of the customers’ make up as well? We don’t all have a huge Sephora train case in the bedroom- some of these shadows might be in a (humid) bathroom in a cloth bag. I am reasonably certain the masques are likely to be stored in said humid bathroom as well. I’m trying to think of what women actually do, as opposed to what a manufacturer or supplier might recommend. How many people would I need for a test group? And how many shadows should I randomly select for sealed shelf-life testing? Or should I just create a batch specifically for testing? Please bear in mind that I’m still at the “cottage” stage and so need to balance safety and performance concerns with the expense of testing. I am sure I have designed a solid testing procedure/protocol, but I am not sure what kinds of numbers I need. What do you think?
    Thank you in advance for your answer, and thanks also for sharing your knowledge with others. You’re a star!

    • Avatar
      Perry Romanowski says:

      For bacterial growth tests, I recommend you send that out to a testing house and have it done independently. This is difficult work to get right and is better done by professionals. See our article on stability testing for more details about testing (e.g. number of samples).
      Good luck!

    • Avatar
      Lovell Odili Agwaramgbo says:

      I am just at the infancy stage. I am trying to find a formula for any dry compact or loose powder cosmetic product . Can you help?

    • Avatar
      Lovell Odili Agwaramgbo says:

      Lesson 4 is a must for starters. I enjoyed every bit of it. I have enjoyed all the four lessons but yet to begin formulating. I am just at the infancy stage. I am trying to find a formula for any dry compact or loose powder cosmetic product . Can you help and point me to the right direction or lesson/s paid or free?

    • Avatar
      Lovell Odili Agwaramgbo says:

      Lesson 4 is a must for starters. I enjoyed every bit of it. I have enjoyed all the four lessons but yet to begin formulating. I am just at the infancy stage. I am trying to find a formula for any dry compact or loose powder cosmetic product . Can you help and point me to the right direction or lesson/s/courses paid or free?

  14. Avatar
    Efi says:

    Thank you Perry for all the presentations – you are making a great job by sharing your knowledge! I hope I will be able to also buy your book!

  15. Avatar
    Angela says:

    Perry…all four videos are an excellent introduction to the industry.
    I just purchased your Cosmetic Training Program!
    Looking forward to it!
    Thanks so much for your time, your efforts and of course…the info!!!

  16. Avatar
    Jennie says:

    I appreciate the videos however I am strongly against animal testing – cosmetics are available which have not been tested on animals so why do you say in the video it is necessary for animal testing??

    • Avatar
      Perry Romanowski says:

      The ingredients used in all cosmetics have been tested on animals regardless of whether the final products have been tested. See our post on animal testing and cosmetics

  17. Avatar
    Shawn says:

    Fantastic video! There is such great information in these short videos that they are definitely a ‘must-watch’ for anyone interested in making their own products.

  18. Avatar
    Anna says:

    I really enjoyed this video. Great explanation of types of testing. Good overview. About animal testing in cosmetics, I would like that we donΒ΄t use aggresive compounds in order to donΒ΄t have to use it with animals. Thanks a lot Perry!

  19. Avatar
    Stella says:

    I subscribed to these “Cosmetic Science mini-course lessons” last week, on October 2nd, and I’ve received all the updates on the new videos available, but when I click on the link and once i’m redirected to the page i can’t stream the video. Not sure if i’m the only one experiencing this problem, since all of the users that have left comments above have obviously been able to stream it. nb. All the plug-ins necessary to view it are instsalled on my PC, so i’m clueless as to what can to be to blame.
    Can’t wait to get the bug fixed and begin watching the video lessons though!

  20. Avatar
    Solange Peretti says:

    I enjoyed this video ! Very well explained, they’re the same tests that we have to conduct to register a product in Brazil. Here also have a strong movement to ban animal testing ( boycott from consumers), I agree that it’s time, science is working to substitute these tests and I hope it’s going to be soon ( E.U. banned this year).

  21. Avatar
    Taddele Abate says:

    Really you are making me expert of cosmetics. I got knowledge that couldn’t be obtained from many academic books and class .
    Great achivement.
    But unfortunately lesson 3 entered into spam and failed to open pls resend it again to make the course complete

  22. Avatar
    Gigi says:

    I consider myself extremely fortunate to have stumbled upon this site! I’ve watched all four videos and found each one really helpful. My permanent job has nothing to do with chemistry but I’ve been formulating cosmetics for a while with some success. I’ll read just about anything I can get my hands on to do with formulating, so I’m extremely grateful for this series and I look forward to buying one of your on line courses. Many thanks Perry!!!

  23. Avatar
    Gigi says:

    I’ve registered for the Dish Forum but I’m finding it difficult to confirm my email address. Is there something else I need to do?

  24. Avatar
    Lew says:

    Nice overview. I note that the Complete Cosmetic Chemist Training Program is closed to new students. Do you have a projected date to start admitting new students?

  25. Avatar
    Jon says:

    Thank you for the videos, and I appreciate the overview of the cosmetic industry! I’m sure there is more to learn, but I feel that I have already learned a lot! Thanks

  26. Avatar
    sami wakil says:

    Mr. Perry
    Thanks for all the useful information
    Please help I need a formula Ooxadant cream used in mixing with hair dye

  27. Avatar
    Julie H says:

    Hi Perry,
    Thank you for all the lessons. This one was a bit of a mystery to me ,as I have only submitted one product to date for a Cosmetic Safety Report. I was wondering why it’s taking so long, it’s only a lip/beauty balm with six ingredients! (5 weeks).Now I understand. I’m really looking forward to starting the course tomorrow.
    Also thanks for the Cosmetic Chemist Toolkit…it’s really handy.
    Bye for now!

    • Avatar
      johan says:

      hi Perry
      your info i of tremendous help. Just a pitty i cant watch the slides . My sound is off at present. Could you perhaps load lession two and four’s text please.

  28. Avatar
    Henry says:

    Great video series, easy to understand and contains very useful information. I wanted to ask about more information on the complete cosmetic training program, is it still available?

  29. Avatar
    shraddha says:

    very nice perry!!
    thank you so much for sharing this information…
    I would like to request you to put one lesson only on Hair products

  30. Avatar
    Judith says:

    Perry, thank you so much for this series! I especially learned quite a bit from lesson 4 on testing products for microbe growth. I would like to learn more about color cosmetics and specifically lipsticks, glosses, and balms. Also working with butters for skin moisturizing, there seems to be so little professional info on this type of formulation…lots of ‘indie’ info available, but not looking for that level of expertise. Can you offer some help in these areas? Thanks again for whetting my appetite for cosmetic chemistry! πŸ™‚

  31. Avatar
    marilyn says:

    Excellent, excellent videos, Perry. Thank you. I learned more in watching your videos than I have trying to gather info from sources around the net. I plan on creating my own haircare line and was going to work with a chemist to make sure everything was done correctly. I probably still will, but with the knowledge you’ve presented in your videos, I may not have to. I really liked the information on waiting 8 weeks to test a product for commercial use.
    Will definitely purchase your 15 hour videos. You speak succinctly, get to the point quickly and do not ramble which is refreshing. I forget how I stumbled upon your info, but I think it was by accident. I’m so happy I did.

  32. Avatar
    Margaret says:

    Excellent explanations, nothing overly-complicated. This video can be understood by most people who finished high school (in Canada at least), even without high school chemistry.
    A very good series of videos.
    All of the slides were very good, i.e. NOT distracting with too much information.

  33. Avatar
    Marie says:

    Hi Perry, Great video, it has helped to clarify some of the test that my products will have to go through.
    As a home-based UK formulator trying to start a small hair and skin line are there any test you could recommend that I could conduct at home, (simple stability test or testing for bacteria, yeast or mold) before sending my products to a lab for official testing?
    Thanks again for the generous sharing of your knowledge.

  34. Avatar
    Terry Yeates says:

    Hi Perry Tank you so much for the information you have given me, it has been a great help to me.
    kind regards TERRY

  35. Avatar
    Elizabeth says:

    Hi, Perry,
    Thank you so much for sending this great training video to me. The information in the training is very helpful. And I learn a lot of important knowledge from it. Thanks million!!!!

  36. Avatar
    Angelique Laporte says:

    Hi Perry. I’ve watched all four of your mini presentations and have really enjoyed them! I am planning on pursuing a career in cosmetic science and these videos have been a great way for me to research and explore my options and learn about the industry. I was wondering where I might find the in depth courses you mentioned at the end of this video? I’d love to learn more! Thank you .

      • Avatar
        Moises says:

        Hi Perry, I’ve been making natural cosmetics for like a year now but I feel I need to study so I can make better products so I was going through both of your courses and it seems that the “Practical Cosmetic Formulation” has much more info than its “Natural Cosmetics” alternative, so would you think the former is still better even if I’m more into the “natural” spectre of the raw material?

        • Avatar
          Perry Romanowski says:

          I would suggest you take the Practical Cosmetic Formulating course first. It also covers natural materials. This will give you a good knowledge base for tackling formulating from a natural point of view. The Naturals course is for someone who already knows a bit about formulating. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  37. Avatar
    Geraldine says:

    This information you provided in the video was super great. It has broaden my knowledge because I had no clue at the beginning. Thank you! I reside in Maryland and interested in starting my own brand of natural cosmestics. Do you have anyone to recommend to work with me?

  38. Avatar
    dhanika says:

    I like to study cosmetic science field as i willing to a special digree ibn chemistry in Sri Lanka so your videos was awsome to have good knowladge about cosmetic science field

  39. Avatar
    Linda says:

    Thank you for the information. Does the testing also apply natural and organic cosmetic products ? as there would be no toxicity.Looking forward to your webinar on the 24th.

    • Avatar
      Perry Romanowski says:

      Yes, testing is required for all cosmetics. The fact that something is natural or organic does not matter as these things could be dangerous too. Think of things like poison ivy which is all natural and terrible to put on your skin.

  40. Avatar
    Rocky says:

    That’s great knowledge for me. This lesson teach me how to test our product under the temperature and time limits.I really appreciate your lessons.

  41. Avatar
    Jackie says:

    Thank you so much Perry for sharing your knowledge and experience in all the four video presentations. Excellent job you are doing!

    • Avatar
      Perry Romanowski says:

      Yes. The ban was passed after I recorded this lesson. But there are still ways that companies get around the animal testing ban.

  42. Avatar
    Saranjit singh Sehgal says:

    Respected Sir,
    Thank you very much for sending me your training video.Liked your live programme very much.

  43. Avatar
    John Osuku-Opio says:

    Yes this is really pragmatic. I am very excited that such a refreshment of knowledge for repositioning oneself exist. This is just like a switch of career in any field. When they say chemistry is life, it is no joke. Imagine I have learned Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Synthetic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Phamarceutical Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry and now Basic Cosmetic Science, but leave alone Medical subjects, like Microbiology, Pathology, pharmacology, pharmacotherapy, etc.
    Now my challenge is to formulate a cosmetic product based on your guide. Your lecture is making me to fine tune my approach. Before picking up on chemistscorner, I was complecating my thoughts in creating a formula in cosmetics for nothing. Scientists normally miss grabing simple things and that is way they take too long to sort out matters. So Perry you are a star and a springboard for me. Keep the spirit, it is very inspiring and empowering. You have done it all.
    Thank you a million times. John

  44. Avatar
    Bruce says:

    Perry your classes are very informative for those interested in cosmetic chemistry. I look forward to learning more from your site. I would like to create hair & skin products.

  45. Avatar
    Raphael says:

    Your lessons is simply fabulous. Before that I was tempted to do a college degree in chemistry but not sure if I should major in organic chemistry. Now I have a much better idea on cosmetics formulation without going through college.

  46. Avatar
    Rick Fox says:

    You deliver the concepts in a simple and easy to understand manner Perry. For the novice such as myself who is not a chemist but rather a brand owner the information in this series has been extremely helpful. I wish I had viewed these videos 3-4 years ago. It would have made my interaction with the various chemist we have worked with much smoother.

  47. Avatar
    Tanya says:

    I have really enjoyed this part miniseries, it is a wonderful overview of cosmetics industrial process. The information will definitely broaden many budding cosmetic scientists views on the industry and what goes on behind the scenes. Thank you for all your time, effort and expertise you have given to make this series and your awesome website.
    >< \/

  48. Avatar
    Fredrick says:

    Amazing! I am learning what I wasn’t taught in my 4 years undergraduate study. I now know the basic test process my cosmetic products will undergo before hitting the market. Thanks Perry.

  49. Avatar
    Pete says:

    Hi Perry,
    I have just gone through the four lessons. I think they are an excellent overview of the industry and its opportunities for chemists. I have a couple of outstanding questions that I don’t think I have seen on your forum (and perhaps you will prompt me to ask there). I assume that the safety testing in lesson 4 relates to the full belt and braces approach of a large company. For a small start-up, initially copying unpatented commercial formulations, what is the minimum safety testing required and approximately how much might you expect to pay for this per product line? Also, I presume that you would need to send samples of each new batch for microbial testing? Finally, do you have a feel for how much a start-up company might expect to pay annually for insurance in case of adverse events?
    Many Thanks,

    • Avatar
      Perry Romanowski says:

      Hello Pete – yes this would be a good question for the forum. The answer depends on your level of risk tolerance. If you are using ingredients that have been safety tested by the CIR then you don’t really have to worry too much about most safety tests. You’ll need to do stability testing and micro testing. And any claims testing.
      I don’t know how much insurance would cost if there are any adverse effects. Plus it depends on your company sales, size, etc. But for a start up figure about $750 to $2000 a year.

  50. Avatar
    Vesna says:

    Hi Perry,
    Excellent presentation with all important information needed to explain safety and stability testing on cosmetic products. I wish that you had provided a link with reputable testing facility world wide for easy access . Looking forward new courses from you. Thank you very much!

  51. Avatar
    Jini says:

    Amazing lessons! Hope soon enough I can take the course!
    I wanted to ask a question which has been on my mind sense I grew a passion for cosmetic chemistry some years ago. I haven’t asked on the forum sense I admire everyone on this field and I wouldn’t want my question to be misunderstood. The question is: Do you need or is it required to have a degree on chemistry to be a Cosmetic Formulator and/or to produce and launch your own line if a person has or gains the knowledge to do so?
    As always thank you for your time!

  52. Avatar
    Helene Tsangaris says:

    Hi Perry, I have really enjoyed all your videos that had such interesting information . Thank you Perry for sharing.

  53. Avatar
    Paula says:

    Hi Perry,
    I enjoyed this mini-course very much. I am a lubricant formulator and now have a new raw material that can be used a solvent in cosmetics. There are many similarities to formulating both types of products.

  54. Avatar
    A.D. Mahan, says:

    your lessons stand second to none, I highly appreciate you and your efforts.
    Please send me the best formularies of cosmetics, including videos in one bundle through email. All the best.

  55. Avatar
    Nadia says:

    Great informative video. I would have liked to get more information specifically on microbial testing. I think it’s important for anyone making their own cosmetics to realize that microbial contamination can go undetected but have extremely harmful effects. Your focus seemed to be more on product stability and efficacy.

  56. Avatar
    Vikash Kandhol says:

    Very good and informative video.
    You have really done a fabulous job by creating this 4 lessons series, which almost covers all the basics for a beginner.
    Thanks a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *