microbiology test

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!