Typical Number of Prototypes to Develop Cream?

Approximately what number of prototypes would be typically produced in order to conduct performance testing in the development of a body cream formulation?

Approximately what number of prototypes would be typically produced in order to conduct laboratory testing (stability, rheology, etc.) in the development of a body cream formulation?

Any comments and discussion regarding the cosmetic prototype testing and consumer acceptance evaluation process would be greatly appreciated.



  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    It seems like you are asking different questions here.

    If you are asking how many prototypes (different versions of the formula) to make then I guess that depends on how close you get with your first prototype.  The procedure is....

    1.  Pick a benchmark (or benchmarks) for your performance target
    2.  Create a prototype to match the benchmark
    3.  Test the prototype against the benchmark, note differences.
    4.  Reformulate a new prototype and repeat step 3 until you get something you like.

    If you are asking how many samples (copies of the same formula) you need for testing then that will vary.

    For performance testing usually one sample is enough as long as you have 500 - 1000 g

    For stability testing, the protocol that I followed required ~40 samples or more if I was doing both glass and packaging.

    The type of testing you need to do for performance will depend on what type of product you're making and the claims you're going to make.  
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    The only real answer to your question is as many prototypes as you need to achieve your objectives of product performance, sensorial attributes, stability and preservation.  It all depends of your skill level in how quickly you achieve these objectives ... there is no typical number of prototypes ... it could be one prototype or it could be 5 or 10 or 13 or 22.  You never know.

    Generally, for a body cream, if it takes you more than 5 prototypes, you should probably rethink your formula or your objectives.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    ^^^ that. Unless of course you are just having fun. 
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
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