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Cosmetic Product Development – From Idea to Product

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

The cosmetics market promises problem solvers for every skin problem in countless variations. These products are available in abundance and customers can benefit from its diversity.

However, the way from the idea to a marketable product is not widely known. A very complex and expensive process that requires a lot of expertise of development, production and quality assurance. Numerous coordinated and constructive processes precede a successful product launch. Thereby, the duration of a product development to a market maturity should not be underestimated. It varies depending on the complexity of the formula from eight months to two years.

It beginns with an idea

Every product starts with an idea. To create the product as innovative as possible, an intense research beforehand is essential. What benefit does the customer from the product have? Is there even a need? Does any similar product already exist or is it a real innovation? How can the best possible efficacy be implemented? Not until these components are carefully researched and collected, the product concept cannot be finalized.

So, off to the Laboratory

Product development starts now: In the laboratory, raw materials and ingredients that can implement the planned product benefit and the efficacy best, are combined. We focus on the ingredients: How is the data situation? Do reliable efficacy studies exist? Which technology is behind the active ingredient? Are they safe? etc.

After choosing the right raw materials for the base of the product and the final evaluation of the ingredients, first laboratory approaches are made.

Despite long-term experiences in the development of formulas, for some products numerous approaches can be necessary, until the product has its required sensors, optics and effect. Here we benefit from our long-term experience, patience and great accuracy.

Unique: At Dr. med. Christine Schrammek Kosmetik, especially the effect and sensors of the formula is examined in its practicality by experienced skin care professionals and doctors: What is the product’s effect? Is it visually appealing? How does it smell? Is the application pleasant? – and much more. As a rule, the final formula takes at least several months.

Test Methods For Quality assurance

Now the formula has to pass numerous of test methods to ensure its physical and microbiological stability. Depending on the product, the test duration may vary. At Dr. med. Christine Schrammek Kosmetik, stability tests, stress tests of preservatives and epicutaneous tests are mandatory for every product. The physical stability (guarantee that the cream maintains in its original condition in relation to visual appearance, fragrance and colour) is checked in so-called temperature cycles.

It is stored for up to three months at different temperatures. At our company, this test already needs to take place in the final packaging, which is in direct contact with the product. This way the interaction with the material can be excluded.

With a special test for suitability of preservatives is further ensured, that the product is protected against microbial contamination or rather the spread of added germs (via hands, etc.) and that there is no risk for the consumer.

An epicutaneous test also gives an indication about skin tolerance. All derma.cosmetics and GREEN PEEL® products are only launched on the market, if their skin tolerance is dermatologically confirmed by an independent institute.

If additional tests such as sun protection factor determination is necessary, only this test period can take up to six months. Additionally, the security topic is a very important factor in the development and production of cosmetics. A detailed safety report needs to be prepared for every product.

If all tests are successfully completed, the production of the formula is transferred from the laboratory to production scale. A lot of experience is required to e.g. transfer manufacturing specifications from small laboratory approaches of 300ml to huge machines. Therefore, the method of scaling up is used: an approach of e.g. 5 to 10kg is produced in a sort of miniature production machine. However, this machine technically meets 100% of the bigger machines, so that all production parameters can reliably be transmitted on the huge production machines.

In the product machines, the developed and completely tested formulas are produced on a large scale and under specific hygienic conditions. That means in almost clinical hygienic rooms, water and oil phases are manufactured, melted or rather heated, mixed and homogenized, cooled. Sensitive ingredients such as fragrance oils or vitamins are dosed at low temperatures and cooled again.

As a rule, a production like this takes several hours. Products that do not consist of several phases are produced in an easier procedure, but always under the same hygienic conditions. As soon as the formula is produced, it undergoes detailed quality tests. Only if the quality test in the laboratory is finished and all parameters (sensors, viscosity, pH-value, density, etc.) meets the requirements, the product can be filled up in sterile, large containers. The result is closed under quarantine, until the result of the microbiological test is available. If there are no complaints, an approval for the filling can be given. Certainly, this also takes place under hygienic requirements. Subsequently, further packaging can take place. For example filling folding boxes or labelling.

At Dr. med. Christine Schrammek Kosmetik, the development is still far from completed. Because of our uncompromising standards of quality and outstanding high-quality products, our quality test is unique: Up to ten samples from every delivery are personally checked and permanently stored. In regular periods, all samples are controlled regarding quality aspects and changes. Furthermore, our research & development team continuously observes the ingredients to improve them or to perform a sometimes required exchange of ingredients.

From idea to product, up to two years can pass, but our customers benefit from innovative, safe, high-quality products. The potentially considerable costs in such a development phase are our invest for our customers and our industry.

Article provided by Dr med Schrammek Company

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