Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Length of time to formulate new products

  • Length of time to formulate new products

    Posted by lanita on November 20, 2017 at 2:37 am

    What is the approximate length of time does it take to formulate products for clients? I have been asked to do some formulating and I don’t feel that 2 months is long enough for the 6 natural products requesed.

    mikethair replied 6 years, 6 months ago 8 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • David

    November 20, 2017 at 9:23 am

    That depends on a lot of factors such as type of product, formula complexity, lab capacity, (client urgency ) and formulators’ experience.
    However if you take 3 months stability test and challenge test into account, 2 months is of course unrealistic.

  • Microformulation

    November 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Firstly, that is an overly tight R&D time. While you may feel pressure to meet that goal out of respect to Customer Service, you will likely fail. It is better to over estimate and to over achieve than to fail at an unrealistic deadline.

  • lanita

    November 20, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for your replies.

    In the beginning, I felt that 2 months might be enough time, yet when I began looking at what needed to be done I felt that the time frame wouldn’t work since I need to test the formulas to make sure that they stand up over time.

    Are you saying that 3 months would be better and for all 6 formulas?

    The products are all natural and require no preservatives so I don’t have the challenge testing to do. My main thing is the stability testing.

    Thanks again for your input.

  • OldPerry

    November 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    2 months is the minimum stability time (You’d rather actually have more time than that).  But, at minimum it should take about 3 months. 

  • em88

    November 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    It usually irritates me when I get a request to formulate a product in a very short time. And I always say, if you want a formulation, made on paper without any testing than I can do it 5 minutes, but don’t come back to me and say it didn’t work, or it was unstable. 

    Two months for 6 formulations is very short time just for formulating, excluding stability tests. 
    I’d ask at last 6 months only for formulations…. 


    November 20, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Our minimum is three to four months:actually with preservation USP 51 and safety tests 5-6 months.Does not sound like a serious query!

  • lanita

    November 20, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks everyone!!!

  • Microformulation

    November 20, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    You say “The products are all natural and require no preservatives.” I hope what you meant was that they are anhydrous and contain no water and therefore do not need a preservative, but perhaps an anti-oxidant. My point is that a product being “natural” does not alleviate the nee for a preservative and perhaps in many cases calls for a closer look at the preservative system.

  • MarkBroussard

    November 21, 2017 at 3:41 am


    It all depends on the products you are being asked to formulate (which you have not specified other than they are “natural”)

    If your products are all anhydrous … say a lip balm, sugar scrub or products of that type that are simply combinations of oils, butters and waxes with no water or water-based ingredients in the formula … it certainly would be possible if you are a fast formulator.  Very low probability of there being any stability issues.  

    Or, toners, spritzers and other very simple water-based products.  Practically nothing can go wrong with these products from a stability perspective, except for microbial contamination.

    You would not be able to complete a full 60 day stability testing cycle, but certainly 30 to 45 days.

    I concur with Microformulation … your comment that the products are all natural so you don’t need preservatives is a bit unusual, unless of course, they are all anhydrous products.

  • lanita

    November 25, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    They are….

  • mikethair

    November 26, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Not needing preservatives does not apply to just anhydrous products.

    Check out ISO 29261 (Second edition 2017-03) “Cosmetics — Microbiology — Guidelines for the risk assessment and identification of microbiologically low-risk products”

    These include soaps (liquid and solid) considered low risk because of low water activity and high pH.

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