Tag Archives: Cosmetic Formulating

Natural Preservatives in Cosmetic Formulations

Natural Cosmetic Formulator Joan Morais

Natural Preservatives

I have been using natural preservatives effectively in my cosmetic formulations for over 10 years. Here are some common and important questions and points that every cosmetic formulator and product maker should consider with natural preservatives.

When I refer to cosmetics, I am referring to body, hair and skin care products.

Preservatives in cosmetics are a topic with many differing and controversial opinions. The one common belief in selling products is that they must be properly preserved and safe to use.

Regarding the preservatives presently used in cosmetics, you will find opinions and research that differ and even contradict each other. For example, using alcohol as a preservative, you will find research on why it is good for the skin and research on why it shouldn’t be used in body, hair and skin care products. It is the same with how we eat. Some research says drinking a little alcohol is good for you and other research says it is not good for you.

Continue reading

Formulating with Salts in Cosmetics

Formulating with Salts in Cosmetics

Formulating with salts in cosmetics can produce superior results and set the formulation apart from others. Salts used in cosmetic formulations can thicken shampoo, give volume to hair, add shine to hair, cleanse the skin, brighten the skin, soothe the skin and help skin conditions.

First a formulator must get to know the salt properties and functions before incorporating it into a formula. Second is experiencing the salt in formulation. This post is on getting to know the salts.

Continue reading
cosmetic formulation testing

Cosmetic Formulating Blog Series | Testing the Formula

Cosmetic Formulating Blog Series | Testing the Formula

Now that we went over some of the basics of cosmetic formulating and how to build the formula, let’s go over testing the formula. Cosmetic formulation testing is an important step before going to market with your final product.

Adjusting the Formula

It is rare that you will have the exact product you want on your first try. Formulating is all about tweaking your formula till you get it exactly how you want it. It takes a lot of patience. Don’t get discouraged if it is not turning out how you want, as it may just take a little tweak to get it exactly where you want it!

When making changes to the formula, it is important you only make one adjustment at a time. It can be tempting to make several changes at once, but then you will not know which adjustment produced what kind of change. It is also important to allow time for the formulation to settle. Sometimes scents can take time to evolve and waxes to firm up.

pH Testing

pH stands for “potential for hydrogen” and is the system to measure acid and alkaline. Neutral pH is 7, anything below 7 is acidic and anything above 7 is alkaline. Water has a neutral pH. The more acidic or alkaline a product is, the more it will cause irritation to the skin. Generally the pH level for body and skin care products should be between 4.5- 6.0 and for hair care products between 4.0- 6.0.

There are a couple different ways one can test for pH. There are pH strips that are easy to use. The strips will give a range instead of the exact pH. A pH meter on the other hand will give you the exact pH and is more accurate. You will likely need to adjust the pH of your product and you can do this with natural ingredients.

Sample Labeling

It is important for you to keep excellent records and label your sample with several key information. This includes the date it was made, type of product, pH, and a reference number that links to the formulation in your lab notebook to refer to for more detailed information. That way you can return to your sample over the next several months to test its stability. You should test the pH, notice the scent and how it has evolved, and if there has been any separation or discoloration.

Testing for Bacteria, Yeast and Mold

Any product that contains water will need to be tested for bacteria, yeast and mold. There are different ways  to test your product.

Plate counts test if there is bacteria, yeast and mold in your sample. It will not tell you how long your preservation system will be effective.

Challenge testing is performed at at one month or two months. Millions of bacteria, yeast and mold will be injected into the product and it will determine if your preservation system is effective.

Stability Testing will test how your product reacts to very hot and cold temperatures.

Testing and Preservation Resources

It is very important to test your product and not only for the stability of the skin or hair care product, but also for bacteria, yeast and mold, and if the preservation system is effective. At Joan Morais Naturals we provide extensive information on testing and preserving your body and hair care products naturally and effectively in our professional product making courses. For information on these courses check out the following:

Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course

Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course

cosmetic formulating

Cosmetic Formulating Blog Series | Formulating Basics

cosmetic formulating

Cosmetic Formulating Blog Series | Formulating Basics

Have you been making your own skin and/or hair care products? Or do you aspire to make your own? Developing a good, basic formula is a must. Cosmetic Formulating can be very confusing and overwhelming. At Joan Morais Naturals we have two in-depth courses on developing your own professional natural skin or hair care products. In these courses you will learn all about cosmetic formulating. In this blog series we will be exploring some of the basics about cosmetic formulating- what is it, how to build a formula, and testing your formulations.

Formulating Basics

The formula is basically your “blueprint” on how to make your product. It will include the percentages of the ingredients and specific instructions, the procedure on how to manufacture the formulation. Prior to building your formula, you should do research on the ingredients your using, their effect on the skin and hair and how they interact with other ingredients in the formula.

You will also need to decide your vision for your products. Do you want it to be organic, natural, and/or cruelty-free? While there is no specific definition for what is “natural” according to the cosmetic industry, there is a lot of information available on what can be considered “natural” etc. Do your research and develop your definition of natural to better clarify the ingredients you won’t allow in the formulation and the ones you will allow. There are standards for organic cosmetics that must be followed.

Understanding Measurements

There are two different ways to measure ingredients- by volume or weight. Volume is using a liquid measuring cup and adding the ingredient to the cup. Weight is weighing the ingredient on the scale. You will also need to decide to measure in grams or ounces. Having accurate measurements is very important in order for you to replicate and have a consistent product. It is also important that you have reliable and accurate tools for measuring that will be consistent in your measurements. You also must pay attention to detail and make sure to write everything down in your lab notebook! Often you think you will remember, but you can easily forget!

Know Your Ingredients

As mentioned previously, it is very important to know your ingredients. You should know the purpose of each ingredient and how it looks, feels and smells. Also, how do your ingredients blend together? Do they have synergy? Synergy is when the whole is greater than the individual parts. When your ingredients are combined together, they should create a superior product.

Making Professional Natural Skin and Hair Care Products

As you can see, a lot goes into building a formula and all of this is before you even start putting your ingredients together. Some people just like to jump right in by experimenting with different combination of ingredients. There is nothing wrong with this method, however it is important for you to obtain the knowledge you need to produce a professionally-grade natural skin or hair care product. At Joan Morais Naturals, we offer two courses on making your own professional natural products. We have our Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course and our Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course.  In these courses you will learn all about formulating, including more in-depth information on natural, organic, and cruelty-free cosmetics, how to measure with accuracy and consistency, and in-depth information on natural and organic ingredients and developing a synergy in your products.

Enrollment for our Spring 2018 our Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course and our Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course is happening NOW! Joan Morais will be mentoring these courses and they will include weekly module overviews where you can ask your questions on formulating and more! Enrollment for the Spring 2018 session ends on Friday, March 9th, 2018.

Have questions on our courses? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for our Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course and our Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course or feel free to email us.

Join us for our next blog post as we go over building your formula!