Cosmetic Innovative Reformulation

Problem:

A cosmetic company in California was purchasing their product from an expensive overseas manufacturer. Importing the finished product was costing the company an outrageous amount due to international shipping and taxes. They were also having repeated quality issues with the final product and were unable to perform regulatory quality control due to the distance. As the manufacturer was withholding their product’s formula the cosmetic company felt helpless to change their practices despite the growing cost and inconvenience. Avomeen Analytical Services was given a sample of the finished product and asked to reverse engineer the product so the cosmetic company could begin using a domestic manufacturer.

Solution:

Our scientists solved these problems through the processes of deformulation and reformulation. Deformulation is the process of reverse engineering the formula by separating, identifying, and quantifying of the formula’s ingredients. This process was accomplished through the use of instrumentation such as FT-IT, GC/MS, GC/FID, and SEM/EDXA, to reveal the formula’s four key components, solvent, resin, plasticizer, and pigment. Knowledgeable analysts used databases and concrete data to cross-examine the various spectral data and identified the exact type of each component (not shown here for proprietary reasons).

FT-IR Image of Plasticizer

After identifying the components, our scientists began reformulating the original formulation. Reformulation is the process of recreating the formulation recipe to replicate the original product. When analyzing the final formulation we identified some potential improvements. In particular our scientists investigated several grades and suppliers of resins to find the most appropriate. After the resin was chosen, ladder studies were completed and revealed that the current plasticizer was unsatisfactory. The current plasticizer was causing the cosmetic to settle over time, requiring the product to be mixed every time before use. To correct this issue we evaluated options and incorporated an eco-friendly, all natural plasticizer that was both more consistent and lower in cost. Once the resin to plasticizer ratio was optimized together with the solvent, we added HD quality finely ground pigments and tested the overall formula. While conducting these tests, small bubbles were found to form in the cosmetic. To solve this problem a defoamer/solvent release aid was added to prevent this from happening.

Our deformulation team was able to determine the exact type and grade of the components of the original formula. Our reformulation specialists re-engineered the formulation recipe, determining the process to perfectly duplicate the original product. By further analyzing the final formulation and individual components, modifications were made to improve the quality and durability of the cosmetic. The technical goals were met and exceeded with this formulation. By using the correct percentages of resin and the new all natural solvent we were able to not only deliver the client the cosmetic’s exact original formula, but also adapt the formula to present the company with a revised product of improved durability and quality. Improvements to the formulation included adaptation so that the cosmetic no longer settles with time but maintains its consistency, changing components so that the formula is now comprised of all safe ingredients that are non-toxic, and finding appropriate alternative ingredients that were less costly.

The resulting formula surpassed the client’s expectations, allowing the cosmetic firm to employ a domestic manufacturer for production lowering costs and maintaining consistent quality. The firm is extremely fond of the improvements we were able to produce in their product and has received acclaim from nationally known makeup artists for the new formula.