Freezing Products While in Storage


For the past few years now, I have been making hair care and skin care products in my spare time. While I have no plans to sell my products commercially, I do often calculate business costs and theorize about commercial scale production for fun.

Recently, I have been wondering if, while in storage, a preserved product could be frozen to help keep it in pristine condition. Assuming that large batches were made in advance, could freezing offer any real benefits over room temperature storage? Would there be any drawbacks to keeping a product frozen? Would the thawing process affect the stability of your product?



  • I am not a scientist but have a somewhat an unhealthy level of curiosity. Have you tried to freeze and unfreeze an O/W lotion?
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Freezing products is actually part of a stability testing protocol. Some emulsions will separate if frozen and then warmed back to room temperature.  If your emulsion stays together under those conditions, then it is considered stable. (at least in a freeze/thaw sense).

    Colder temperature storage does generally make products last longer. But it can lead to instability.
  • @ngarayeva001 I currently have a lotion in the freezer which I will be taking out today to check on.
  • @Perry
    Thanks for the useful information!
    If freezing it has a higher chance of rendering it unstable, would refrigerating it do the same? Since it's not freezing, will it still become unstable?
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    It depends on the formula but in general, making a system colder will make it last longer (more stable). But when you freeze it that might cause some unknown instability or maybe not.

    I should note that every emulsion or colloidal system is unstable. It's just that the stability of good formulas is longer than it takes to use up the formula. 
  • @Perry
    Thank you very much! 
    This information is extremely useful.
  • It might be an anecdotal evidence but as per my observation low viscosity lotions are more prone to separation after freezing. I guess the reason is that high viscosity products are more stable due to more stabilisers (gums, polymers, fatty alcohols).
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