Cosmetic labs create products by testing and documenting lab results of formulas designed in the laboratory. Scientists, engineers and lab managers work to provide quality ingredients. Utilizing the proper equipment provides more accurate testing results which aides in producing quality products.
Labs must test each cosmetic formulation to assure it meets specifications. A viscometer measures rheology — the study of the flow of matter. A pH meter measures the pH of solutions through a glass electrode. Both provide essential testing equipment for a start-up lab. At the time of publication, viscometers start at more than $1,900 and pH meters run from under $430 and up.
Starter cosmetic laboratories require heat and cooling to control temperatures of formulas. A durable gas or electric laboratory hot plate provides heat adjustable up to 2,012 degrees Fahrenheit. A gas hot plate operates efficiently without electricity. At the time of publication, lab quality hotplates start in the mid $40s and go up to over $1,000.
Cosmetics involve the mixing of several powders and liquid. Blending liquids of different viscosity and smoothly dissolving powders requires an industrial strength mixer from the outset. Lab techs also must mix several thickeners, stabilizers and hydrating gums contained in cosmetic formulas. Industrial strength mixers start at around $300 and run to $10,000 at the time of publication.
A balance provides precise measurements of raw materials. At the time of publication, a professional level balance starts at a little more than $7,100. To save costs when first starting the lab, a more reasonable, entry-level balance runs $1,800 and up. An entry-level unit measures up to 220 grams. Eventually, you'll want the professional level which measures up to 520 grams.
Earl Smith has been writing since 1996. His articles have appeared in "Focus" and "On the Scene" magazines and the "Rio Rancho News." He is an Air Force veteran and has a B.A. in business administration from Illinois State University.