Reliability of testing cosmetics


Element 44 Inc, Chicago, USA

As a formulator, there are three types of testing that you may be called on to do. These include quality control testing, consumer testing and claims testing. Gaining an understanding of the uses and challenges of each type of testing will make you a more well-rounded cosmetic chemist.


This type of testing is done to ensure that the product you and your company produce is safe, effective and consistent. The idea is that if you set up a range of specifications for a formula and each batch falls within those specifications, you can assume that the product will be of suitable quality.


The most simple types of quality control tests are characteristics like color, appearance and odor. These are normally tested by a trained individual comparing the current product to a known standard. While these tests are subjective, people can get reliably good at noticing subtle differences.


For more objective measurements, instruments such as a pH meter and viscometer are used. These work well with water-based formulas and give an accurate reflection of the pH and rheology of a give ...