Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

  • Suitable for: Formulators with experience
  • Pre-requisites: Checklist

  • Time: 20 study hours

  • Course Modules: 4

  • Coursework: Self-study + tutor graded

  • Duration: One year deadline

  • Cost: £225 (British Pounds)
  • Next enrolment period: 7-14 Jul 2020

Enrolment opens in:


Formula Botanica Botanical Table of Elements

Learn the complex language of preservatives with our exclusive course at Formula Botanica. This online course in natural cosmetic preservation teaches you how to select the best natural preservative system for your skincare products and make sure that your products are preserved safely and correctly.

This course is suitable for people with existing skincare brands or students with formulation experience. Our Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation will teach you how to make your skincare range safe while still maintaining its natural and organic status.

Avoid Microbial Growth in your Skincare Products

Study the microorganisms that are frequently found in cosmetics and learn the factors that encourage their growth, particularly those commonly found in natural cosmetics. Become fluent in Good Manufacturing Practice and understand the difference between disinfecting, sanitising and sterilising.

Protect your Products with Safe Natural Preservatives

Learn the myths and truths surrounding natural preservatives. Understand the important difference between preservatives and antioxidants. Run through a list of over 20 natural and nature identical preservatives, including those which have been ECOCERT approved.

Sell your Products to the Public with a Clear Conscience

Determine the shelf life of your products. Learn what you should demand from a microbiological challenge test and which data you should transfer to your safety assessor (specially if you are in the EU). Learn how to comply with international cosmetics legislation when it comes to preservatives.


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This course is for you if:

You are worried that your cosmetic formulations might not be safely preserved

You want to use natural or naturally derived preservatives in your formulations

You’re not sure how to select the right natural preservative for your formulation

You want to sell your formulations to the public with a clear conscience

You want to feel confident when choosing a natural preservative

You want to enrol with an accredited and gold award-winning education provider

“Preservation class is a MUST. This course covers broad range of preservation. It teaches you the importance of having to have preservatives in your natural skin care products. Safety first. Protecting your precious products and valuable consumers should be your number one priority. This course teach you all that you need to know to protect yourself and your consumers. I am very glad I took this class.”

– Sydney Fang, Australia

Course Videos

Learn directly from the Formula Botanica team with our professional videos and course lectures

Fun Online Games

Play games to help you learn how to reinforce the learning outcomes for your course

25+ Study Books

Download your beautifully designed course notes to refer back to and keep forever

Tutor Support

Speak directly to a tutor in our private “Ask the Tutor” forum for students

Sequential Learning

Unlock new modules as you work through the course sequentially to enforce learning points.

Course assessments

Test what you learned to help you make your formulations safe, stable and sellable
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation


Formula Botanica Botanical Table of Elements

Module 1 – Good Manufacturing Practice

Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is one of the basic pillars of cosmetic formulating. GMP is universally accepted as a guideline to ensure the safety and consistent quality of skincare products and is mandatory in many parts of the world.

In this module we cover global GMP requirements, ISO 22716:2007 (the international standard for cosmetics GMP), how to create a GMP checklist, getting your lab prepared and understanding the difference between sterilisation, sanisation and disinfection.

Natural Skincare Course
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

CNCP1001 – GMP

  • Learn what Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is and why it’s important
  • Understand the GMP requirements where you live in the world
  • Learn why you should implement ISO22716:2007 in your artisan lab
  • Course bonus: GMP Checklist
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

CNCP1002 – Preparing your Lab

  • Learn how to prepare your lab to manufacture cosmetics
  • Study why hand washing is so important
  • Learn the important difference between sanitisation, disinfection and sterilisation
  • Course Bonus: Comparison Table: Sanisation, Disinfection and Sterilisation

Module 2 – Meet the Microorganisms

In this module you will become comfortable with the different microorganisms that can be introduced to your skincare products.

Microorganisms are everywhere, which means that unless you have a state-of-the-art lab it is impossible to formulate skincare products under sterile conditions. Learn about the difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Research bacteria and fungus in more detail. Understand how water activity plays a key role in encouraging microbial growth.

Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

CNCP2001 – Meet the Microorganisms

  • Learn about the different types of microorganisms you might find in your cosmetics
  • Study the difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes
  • Gain an understanding of bacteria and fungi
  • Learn the difference between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria
  • Course bonus: GMP Checklist
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

CNCP2002 – Microbial Growth Factors

  • Study the factors affecting microbial growth, including pH and water activity
  • Understand the different water activity of cosmetic ingredients
  • Learn the main sources of contamination for your cosmetics
  • Course Bonus: Abuse your Cosmetics Checklist
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

Mini Lesson – Cosmetic Packaging

  • Study the benefits of airless packaging
  • Learn what ‘overheads’ are and why they matter in your formulation
  • Understand what is required of your packaging when testing your formulation

“I’ve just completed the Certification in Natural Cosmetic Preservation and I can recommend it to everybody! This course gives you all the details and offer so much knowledge about Natural Cosmetic Preservation. I truly love Formula Botanica, the learning structure is great! All Tutors are so helpful and it is a great community. Highly recommended!”

– Gina Neuh, Germany

Module 3 – Preserving your Products

Now that you understand how to get your skincare formulation lab ready and you know which microorganisms are most likely to want to come and breed in your products, you’re ready to start with the most important part of this course – cosmetic preservation.

In this module we will run you through how a preservative works, how to choose the right preservative system and we’ll give you a list of 20 natural and naturally derived preservatives, along with their ECOCERT status.

Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

CNCP3001 – How
Preservatives Work

  • Study the 7 different methods of preservation
  • Learn the way preservatives work in your formulations
  • Research the difference between reactive and membrane-active preservatives
  • Learn the main biocide groups
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

CNCP3002 – Preserving your Products

  • Research the ‘synthetic to natural’ spectrum
  • Learn the 8 different natural preservative groups
  • Understand the requirements for undertaking a stability test
  • Learn how to choose the ideal preservative for your products
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

Guidelines to Choosing a Natural Preservative

  • Use our detailed flowcharts to choose the right preservative
  • Course bonus: Checklist – Analysing your Formulation
  • Course bonus: Guidelines – Choosing a Natural Preservative
  • Course bonus: Checklist – Choosing a Natural Preservative
  • Course bonus: Checklist – Supplier Checklist
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

Mini Lesson –
Challenging Ingredients

  • Study the most challenging ingredients to preserve in organic cosmetics: honey, clays, glycerin and herbs
  • Understand how to prepare herbal infusions and glycerites safely
  • Learn how to formulate with clays in organic cosmetics
  • Learn how to safely work with herbal infusions
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

Mini Lesson – Anhydrous Formulations

  • Learn when an anhydrous formulation must be preserved
  • Receive a list of 6 preservative blends which we have found to work in anhydrous formulations
  • Learn how to choose a preservative for an anhydrous formulation
  • Study how to package anhydrous formulations
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

Mini Lesson –
Hydrosol Preservation

  • Learn what to do if you make your own hydrosols
  • Receive a list of 3 preservative blends which we have found to work in hydrosols
  • Learn what to do if you buy unpreserved hydrosols
  • Understand the basics of testing hydrosols for contamination
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

Mini Lesson – Organic Certification

  • Study the pros and cons of organic certification vs preservation
  • Learn the organic certification status of 22 preservative compounds
  • Find out 10 of the world’s most prominent certification bodies
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

Handbook – 22 Natural Preservatives

  • Use our detailed course handbook to choose the right preserving compound
  • Learn the ingredient’s origin, spectrum, together with any limitations and specifications
  • Learn the ingredient’s solubility, pH range, application and certification
  • Find out the trade names of various cosmetic preservatives

Module 4 – Complying with the Law

International cosmetics legislation requires you to preserve your products properly to protect yourself as well as your customers. However, each country sets slightly different requirements. In this module we will review the main requirements which you need to be aware of when you formulate organic and natural skincare.

We will also look in more detail at the types of tests required for proper preservation, how they’re used and what you need to do in order to prepare for them.

Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

CNCP4001 – Complying
with the law

  • Study the different legal requirements for cosmetic preservation depending on where you live in the world
  • Learn about the difference in global microbial challenge tests
  • Understand the important points to think about when using self-preserving ingredient
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

CNCP4002 – Stability Testing & Shelf Life

  • Learn how to predict and declare the shelf life of your product
  • Understand the minimum stability testing requirements
  • Study which ingredients in natural cosmetics require more preservation than others
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

Mini Lesson –
Testing Emulsions

  • Learn how to test the pH of your emulsion
  • Learn how to use dipslides in your emulsions
  • Understand the difference between a dipslide and sterilised swab in your emulsion
Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation

Mini Lesson – Testing Requirements

  • Understand your testing requirements if you change the formula
  • Understand your testing requirements if you change suppliers
  • Learn when to outsource a challenge test in your development process
  • Understand your testing requirements for customised cosmetics

“If you have a passion for formulating skincare then the Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation is an absolute must! You will gain confidence that your finished products will be properly preserved and will be able to explore the many different methods of preservation for all types of skin care from butters,balms to lotions! Thank you Formula Botanica :)”

– Tracy Flegel, Canada

Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation


When you study with Formula Botanica, you become part of a close-knit international community of students and graduates all around the world. We support you all throughout your studies and beyond, and we give you access to our expert botanical skincare science and business files while you are enrolled on your courses.

Bonus 1 – Become Part of the Loveliest Formulation Community on the Internet

Once you enrol with us, you are welcomed into our international student community groups which contain many thousands of our students and graduates from all over the world. Everyone knows each other and many of our students meet up in their respective countries to share information and formulate together.

In our groups, you will receive expert tutor support and peer support. Ask questions, share photos, troubleshoot formulations. Celebrate your victories and get encouragement when you need it. You are never alone.

Formula Botanica Conference 2018

Bonus 2 – Access our Student Library

When you become a student with Formula Botanica, you also gain exclusive access to our Student Resources Library for the duration of your course. Access our:

  • Preferred supplier guide which contains hundreds of global companies

  • Extensive ingredients directory with listings of over 100 natural ingredients

  • Formulation percentage-to-weight calculator

  • Collection of many hours of expert webinars

  • Scientific research collection

  • Recommended reading list

Formula Botanica Student Library

Bonus 3 – Ongoing Support After Graduation

The support doesn’t finish when you graduate. We want to keep in touch with you once you’ve finished your course and support your career in organic skincare. We offer lots of free promotion for our graduates because we want to help give your business the support it needs when you launch it or as you grow it.

Be featured widely on our website, on social media and on our mailing list. Formula Botanica has many thousands of followers and subscribers all around the world so this will help you create a splash when you launch.

Meet the Formula Botanica Team

Bonus 4 – Earn Formula Botanica Bonus Badges

Formula Botanica issues special Moodle Badges to students who pass their courses successfully (Moodle is the name of our award-winning and accredited eLearning Platform). These badges can be used on your resume, social media pages and LinkedIn profile to demonstrate that you are a skilled organic formulator. We have also hidden a few surprise badges in the course materials for students who pass certain Modules with a distinction grade!

Formula Botanica Badges

Enrol for our Certificate in Natural Cosmetic Preservation to formulate your skincare range with a clear conscience while still ensuring your products are natural and safe.


Suitable for students with formulation experience, ideally graduates of our foundation Diploma.

Online Classroom

Peer support & tutor support via a private Facebook group.

Start Date

Term times. Self-paced training where you have up to 12 months to complete your course.


Formula Botanica is accredited by the Open & Distance Learning Quality Council.


Projects, activities and reflexive learning. The main module ends with a short test.

Expert Support

Our Tutor Team has an educational background in cosmetic chemistry, biology, education and business management. Let us support you.


Formula Botanica Botanical Table of Elements

Formula Botanica operates a term time system, so we can get all of our students started at the same time and run online study groups.

Term times run in the following months:

  • Winter Term: January

  • Summer Term: July

Enrolment for all of our courses will be open during this period. If you want to be the first to hear when we open enrolment, make sure you pre-register for this course.

Like this course? You might also like:

Advanced Diploma in Organic Skincare Science
International Organic Skincare Entrepreneur Programme
Certificate in Organic Anti-Ageing Skincare Formulation


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