Talk With Expert Microbiologist Derio Comar
As you can imagine there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes into the research and development of our skincare. Aside from all the sourcing of the natural, plant-based ingredients, we also do extensive testing to ensure the products are safe and of the highest quality for our customers. I had the chance to have a fascinating conversation on this with Derio Comar, who is a microbiologist and chemist, and works closely with Botani’s found Barbara to ensure our products are safe and effective. We decided to video this conversation so you could hear it for yourself. Or if you prefer, you can read the Q&A I had with Derio.
Product Safety and Testing With Expert Derio Comar
How Botani Measures Quality Of Products?
The quality built into a product has some aspects that all come together in the finished product.
1. Quality Ingredients
The first prerequisite is using quality ingredients that have been tested and certified by the supplier.
2. Hygienic Manufacturing
The second prerequisite is to ensure the most hygienic manufacturing possible, backed up by quality control and by finished product testing. The most important part of this to ensure that every batch manufactured is free of bacteria and meets the quality tests for that formulation. Cosmetics can easily become contaminated with bacteria because of poor quality ingredients, unhygienic manufacturing and the use of poor quality water. Batch testing is a crucial control to ensure the bacterial safety of cosmetics. Read our blog post on Why small batches are important to us.
3. Product Testing
The third prerequisite of quality is the actual formulation of the product. During product development, a range of tests must be done on the formulation before it goes to market. How is testing different for the formulation during product development? There are two essential categories of tests. Tests that must be done on the formulation before it is accepted for selling to consumers. The first is preservative testing and the second is stability testing.
What Is A Preservative Test?
All products that are water-based can support the growth of bacteria and must be preserved for safety. Once a formulation is finished it is important to subject it to a preservative test. The product is challenged with a variety of bacteria and monitored for a month. We check if the bacteria grow or die-off over this time. This type of test is designed to determine if the level of preservative is adequate. If a product is preserved well, it will stop bacteria growing and result in bacterial die-off. A product with a poor preservative profile could grow bacteria and not only spoil the product but could cause infections.
Stability testing is made up of a series of tests. These are designed to determine how stable the formulation is and also to assign a use by date. The product is stored for up to a year, and we monitor if it changes colour or odour or viscosity and pH as well as other characteristics If a product is not stable and starts to break down, it could cause allergies and in some cases result in bacterial growth and potentially cause infections. Product stability is a crucial part of product quality. Unfortunately, in Australia, a use-by-date is not required for cosmetics, and therefore stability testing is often not done by some manufacturers or done to a limited extent.
How Botani Guarantees Product Safety
The use of quality ingredients, careful formulation and verification tests, such a preservative tests, stability tests and batch testing guarantee Botani customers the safest products possible.