Have you created your own cosmetic brand or personal care merchandise? If so, then you need to understand a key aspect of cosmetic product safety – the microbiology test. Understanding microbiology testing is very important but can also be rather confusing; especially if you’re just a beginner. Read on to learn more about how why a microbiology test is so important.

Microbiology for Beginners

Small living organisms are studied in microbiology, such as algae, protozoa, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Referred to as microbes, these organisms are invisible to the naked eye but make up 60% of all living matter. Unfortunately, microorganisms can damage cosmetic products and cause infection or skin irritation.

Why Test Cosmetics?

In order to make cosmetics or skin lotions, you need water and preservatives. If you don’t use enough or the wrong kind, your cosmetics can end up with microorganisms. This may cause spoilage or chemical changes and harm your consumers.

Consumers often contaminate their own cosmetics by dipping into them with dirty hands. This challenges the cosmetic industry to ensure their merchandise is free of harmful organisms and additives while still remaining safe to use. This is done by adding preservatives and preventing contamination during manufacturing.

How Can Microbes Be Prevented?

If you are manufacturing your cosmetics in non-sterile conditions – in a warm and moist environment, on a dirty counter, or with stale water, for example – you may not be able to prevent contamination during the process. However, here are some tips to reduce that possibility:

  • Always have clean hands or wear gloves.
  • All surfaces should be disinfected.
  • Use clean utensils and avoid cross contamination between formulas.
  • Tap water can contain traces of bacteria – use distilled water.
  • Avoid using bare hands to touch your finished product.
  • When products are ready for packaging, use disposable piping bags.

What Kinds of Tests?

Whether you’re creating lotions, liquids, or creams, there is a different test method for each product which can be purchased on various websites. They are used at home, but then sent to a private laboratory for complete results. There are tests for yeasts and molds, and others for testing bacteria. Be sure not to touch any part of the test with your fingers because hands are covered in bacteria. The slides will be contaminated before even testing your products.

If your products are liquid, a small amount can be poured into a test tube, then a paddle dipped in until completely covered. The paddle is sealed in another test tube and within 5 days, if there are any bacteria, it will show up as red dots on the paddle. If there is yeast or mold spores in the liquid, there will be a fuzzy growth on it.

For creams and lotions, take a sterile swab and swipe some of it across the agar, which comes in the test kit. Again, the results will be either show red dots or a fuzzy growth. The test tubes then need to be sent to a professional lab.

Is all of this making you a bit dizzy? Did you know there is a cosmetics testing company who can help you? Contact Architectural Beauty and we’ll assist you with creating and testing all your products. Get started today!

You’ve recently started your own cosmetic brand. But how do you make it stand out in the crowd? Building a following for your Twitter feed or Instagram profile is more than just sending out a lot of meaningless content. Getting an eye-catching social media campaign takes precise attention to detail. Here are a few tactics to build awareness and inspire consumers to buy.

Portray Your Image Consistently

Who should buy your cosmetics? Are you trying to attract someone young, trendy? Someone just starting out who may not have a lot to spend? Or are you targeting someone established and willing to pay more for what they want? Decide on your message and be sure your brand conveys this image across all medias. Every Tweet or Facebook post needs cohesive graphics, hashtags, and text.

Use a Variety of Platforms for Your Message

Remain current by constantly updating old content and adding new. Use multiple media platforms to share your most relevant information. Drive your brand’s online presence by experimenting with new media and social media innovations. Use Twitter or Facebook to drive your followers to your Instagram account. Create a contest to get more followers; linking your accounts exposes a larger number of viewers to each post.

Stay Accessible

The best thing about social media is the ability to connect directly with your consumer base, so work with your team to build a solid plan for your public relations. Engage with your customers directly online by starting one-on-one conversations, not just mass branding messages.

Try to immediately answer all the comments and feedback on your cosmetics brand. Your followers want respect and attention. Being responsive and remaining active will show you care. While it’s easy to stay connected with customers who are passionate about your products, passive consumers are more difficult to engage. Don’t lose them. Encourage followers to send in a video using your products. Consumers will be excited, and they’ll share your cosmetics through word of mouth.

Never pass up an opportunity to interact with consumers through giveaways, Q & A sessions, YouTube tutorials, competitions, etc. This encourages engagement and will ultimately increase sales.

Testimonials

Do you know anyone famous, locally popular, or even a little famous? Having a reputable person show support for your cosmetics brand will give you a boost. Publish testimonials on the website. They can be from sources ranging from a Facebook friend with 2,000+ followers to a new beauty blogger with only 150. All public acclaim benefits your brand, so publish testimonials from bloggers, consumers, and celebrities whenever possible. Incorporating content from different kinds of social media contributors will generate a bigger audience for your products.

Add Value

Engage more followers by providing original, focused content and relevant messages. Avoid jargon filled, repetitive content. Educate, provide advice, and demonstrate the latest trends. Talk about social justice issues and allow followers to contribute to the conversation. Give your customers a reason to visit your site. Create content to appeal to your consumer base – promote exciting events, charity campaigns, or new product designs. Ask for opinions and make the most of every interaction. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Following these steps will help your brand become and remain relevant, but you may need some help. Push your company to the next level with help from Architectural Beauty. Contact us today!

Some people consider preservatives to be a controversial ingredient in cosmetics. There are many products that claim to be preservative-free and this leads to the belief that preservatives may be potentially harmful or even unnecessary. However, unpreserved products present consumers with a serious public health concern.

Read on to learn more about cosmetic product preservatives and what they do.

What Are Preservatives?

A preservative is a synthetic or natural ingredient that is added to cosmetics in order to keep them from spoiling or becoming contaminated. They ensure that cosmetics remain safe to use for an extended time period. Preservatives undergo quality testing and safety assessments. This rigorous testing ensures that the cosmetic products will not harm consumers.

Why Are They Needed in Cosmetics?

Without preservatives, cosmetics can become contaminated. Like fruit in a bowl, cosmetics can spoil, get moldy, and potentially make the consumer ill. When a product becomes contaminated, especially if it’s used around the eyes, it can cause serious infection or irritation.

When water is introduced to a formulation, microbes begin to grow – no matter how carefully the products are made or how sterile the space is. In addition, every time a consumer touches a product, more microbes are added from their fingers. And if left in the bathroom, with every steamy shower or toilet flush, products become tainted. Without preservatives, it only takes a small number of bad microorganisms to turn a safe product into slime or fuzz. Because of how cosmetics are used, they need to stay safe for their entire shelf life and beyond.

More Problems

Unfortunately, natural products are more susceptible to microbe growth than those with preservatives. There are more nutrients for bacteria to feed on and for microbes to flourish. In addition, people who have health issues often purchase natural products, thinking these are better for them. Those consumers may not have a strong immune system and are more prone to illness without realizing it. Some of the illnesses caused by bacteria in cosmetics are pneumonia, strep throat, pink eye, thrush, meningitis, and many more.

Common Preservatives

While not all products need preservatives (i.e., bar soap, lip balms, oil-based serums), anything that incorporates water, like shampoo, lotion, or liquid foundation, does.

Some preservatives can be used in low concentrations and small amounts, but always do research before adding preservatives to your products. All of them have pros and cons. The most common preservatives are:

  • Parabens:  Ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-, isobutyl-paraben, and others, are widely used because, compared to other preservatives, they’re very effective at low doses. They are easy to use, have no color or smell, and skin can easily tolerate them.
  • Formaldehyde Donors: Types of formaldehyde donors include glutaraldehyde, DMDM hydantoin, and imidazolidinyl urea. Formaldehyde itself was once commonly used, but no longer. Instead, chemists developed donors.
  • Phenol Derivatives: Including phenoxyethanol. It has become the primary replacement for parabens in natural formulations because of its effectiveness at low concentration levels.

Natural Preservatives

Be aware that natural preservatives are less effective than those named above. They need to be used at higher doses and higher concentrations, which can make them allergenic. Natural preservatives are also more expensive to use and can add colors and scents to a product.

Most are weak acids, such as benzoic acid, citric acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, sorbic acid, etc. In addition, there are herbal options like fermented ingredients, certain essential oils, and alcohols which can preserve formulas. To use preservatives effectively, you need to understand how they work and how much to use. Not a chemist? Then your best bet is to contact Architectural Beauty. We’re here to help you formulate and market your cosmetic products. Call today!

The snow mushroom is also known as the tremella mushroom and the silver ear mushroom. But called by any other name, this mushroom has been used throughout Asia for centuries as a wonderful tonic for healthy skin. Studies have shown that snow mushrooms are full of proteins, a variety of salts and vitamins containing 18 amino acids, as well as carbohydrates, crude fiber, and fats. Knowing the correct way to use snow mushrooms can significantly and naturally beautify your complexion. Read on to find out more.

Skin Healing

The snow mushroom has also been found to inhibit melanin formation with a ratio of nearly 60%. That means it has a much better effect on skin lightening and brightening compared to other chemicals such as Vitamin C, Kojic Acid, or Arbutin. Another study found that snow mushroom extracts can stimulate cell growth to help speed the healing of wounds. It was made into a paste and applied to burns and, in every case, the mushroom helped to drastically reduce redness and skin damage.

Natural Anti-Aging Ingredients

With many consumers looking for more natural ingredients in their skin care products, snow mushrooms are often used to hydrate and lighten dark spots, giving their skin a younger look. Mushrooms are used in cosmetics because of their ability to protect the skin, retain moisture, and effect the skin’s flexibility. In addition, these mushrooms are anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory. They prevent the degeneration of micro-vessels and help to maintain blood flow.

Many topical night creams, face lotions, and serums use snow mushrooms for their anti-aging properties due to their potent antioxidants and deep moisturizing abilities. The mushroom extract naturally brightens the skin, eliminates age spots, and helps to create a more even skin tone overall.

Even More Benefits of Snow Mushrooms

Snow mushroom-based products generate a natural film on the skin that moisturizes and restores dry skin to its optimally mobile and hydrated state. This gives the skin a smoother and more elastic appearance. The film protects the skin and does not fade over time. This leads to better texture, more efficient anti-oxidation, and deeper moisturizing of the complexion.

Compared to the recently popular hyaluronic acid, snow mushrooms can hold more water and the particles are smaller to more easily penetrate the deeper layers of skin. When the mushroom lotion was applied topically on the skin for four weeks, the skin’s texture was greatly improved.

Snow mushrooms are also very high in Vitamin D and when applied to acne lesions and bumps, it shows impressive healing abilities. Helping those with troubled skin is another great use for the mushroom extract. 

In addition, snow mushrooms are a clear winner when it comes to skin care in bad weather. Cold winter weather dryness, and summer sunburns from too much time outdoors, can be healed with better hydration from snow mushroom extract. It will moisturize and plump your skin to make it look younger and healthier. Are you thinking of creating your own beauty line? Interested in using all-natural products? Contact Architectural Beauty and get started today!