The Importance of Microbiology Testing Cosmetics

Recently Ology Essentials Labs started offering microtesting services. That might have you asking, do I need my finished products tested for microorganisms? Do your products have water activity? If the answer is yes and you haven’t tested your preservative system yet then the answer is most definitely a big yes. 

Any product that contains water should be microtested during formulation to ensure that the preservative system is effective. That is the bare minimum to assure that your products are safe–we recommend regular mictrotesting for yeast, mold, and bacteria in personal care products. 

Bacteria is a fact of life with cosmetics that contain even a trace of water. Every product that does not contain a broad spectrum preservative has a 3 day or less shelf life…period…even if it contains essential oils. A broad spectrum preservative is a preservative that protects against bacteria, yeast and fungi in your product. David Steinburg infamously said, “Remember, preservatives are safer than bacteria.”

You might think that since you have never seen anything growing in your product that you are safe. This is not the case. The products in this video looked and smelled fine, but when we ran the micro-test it failed within a matter of hours…and epically. 

There is no such thing as a safe preservative free cosmetic that contains water. Bacteria requires water to support life, with even a little it will thrive so any product that contains even trace amounts of water should be tested regularly.

There are multiple reasons to ensure that your preservative system. 

Photo links to Instagram Reel of a failed microtest

To name a few: 

  • Insurance companies will not insure unpreserved cosmetics. And you simply do not know if your product is effectively unpreserved until you have the system microtested. 
  • The FDA requires that products cannot be injurious, contain filth, may not contain a pathogen such as yeast, mold, or bacteria. 
  • The Manufacturer is responsible for making cosmetics safe and they must not be adulterated or misbranded. Yeast, mold, and bacteria cause a product to be misbranded and adulterated. 

The peace of mind is quite nice as well. 

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