3 Reasons all Skincare Formulations Must Undergo Stability Testing

3 Reasons All Skincare Formulations Must Undergo Stability Testing

Every organic skincare or haircare formulator knows that blissful feeling when a formula comes together. You designed the product, you manufactured it and it looks, smells and feels wonderful. However, before you can sell your organic skincare product, you need to test its stability. Stability testing offers you the only way to know for sure that your product is safe and to determine its shelf life.

In fact, we feel so strongly that stability testing is a necessity for you, your formulations, your brand and your customers, that we’ve summarised 3 reasons why you must stability test your organic skincare or haircare product:

1. Stability Testing Protects your Formulation’s Safety

Your skincare products need to be safe for use. Before you decide that your formulation is ready for sale, you need to be really sure the product is and will be safe at least until its expiry date.

Organic skincare is made without the usual synthetic preservatives that are generally known to be very stable. Our organic lotions, creams, masks and cleansers often contain botanical and herbal extracts, such as leaves, flowers, seeds and oils, which can be harder to keep stable in a formulation (Read: 4 Signs of Cosmetic Product Instability).

For that reason, most botanical formulations tend to have a shorter shelf life and can be more prone to contamination. A couple of months more or less can make the difference for a retailer to want to sell your product or not.
Stability testing helps you to predict the shelf life of your formulations and gives you the certainty your product is safe from unwanted changes and contamination. #CosmeticScience #GreenBeauty Click To Tweet

2. Stability Testing Protects your Brand’s Reputation

Your formulation is part of your identity as a brand. Almost every year the news reports a product recall by a brand due to improper testing (Read: The Liz Earle re-call: When even phenoxyethanol fails). Can you imagine the devastating effect a headline such as Organic skincare product X recalled because 5,000 units of lotion separated?’.

The reputation damage doesnt need to be as big as hitting the news: it can be smaller and closer to home. If you ever opened a product where the emulsion separated, you will never buy something of that brand again. Especially in a world with social media, this is something you dont want to happen.

3. Stability Testing Helps with Legal Compliance

Rules differ all over the world and although stability testing is good practice, it isnt mandatory everywhere. Cosmetic stability testing is a required part of the Cosmetic Product Safety Report that is needed to sell your cosmetic product in the EU. The cosmetic laws in South Asian countries (and others) mimic the laws of the EU.

In other parts of the world this isnt regulated like in the EU, but sometimes microbiological testing is mandatory when your product contains or comes into contact with water (Listen to our podcast: How to comply with the EU Cosmetics Regulations).

We encourage you to comply with the toughest regulations because it gives you the chance to sell your products globally. You are then also prepared for changing regulations in your own part of the world.

Stability testing isnt just something you do to comply with the law; it is what you do because you are a professional formulator. Protect your customer, reputation and business and challenge your products through rigorous stability testing.


Learn how to protect your formulations, your brand and your customers by enrolling for our online Certificate in Cosmetic Stability Testing.


Leave us a comment


3 Reasons all Skincare Formulations Must Undergo Stability Testing

Priscilla Rolvers | Formula Botanica

Priscilla Rolvers is a Herbalist as well as a Tutor at Formula Botanica, where she helps our students to become better organic cosmetic formulators. Read more about the Formula Botanica Team.


Leave a reply


We love receiving your emails. We try to respond to all messages within 2 working days, but are often much faster!

Copyright Herb & Hedgerow Ltd. 2012-2021 All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Earnings Disclaimer Herb & Hedgerow Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 07957310. Registered office: Wadebridge House, 16 Wadebridge Square, Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 3AQ, UK. Please do not post anything to this address.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?