Personal Care Preservation & Performance Testing

Steps to Reducing and Preventing Microbial Contamination

Microbial Screening

Microbes can grow nearly everywhere – make sure the production lines, raw materials, and packaging are as clear as possible before filling orders


Testing a products performance for a specific environment. Can be heat, UV, moisture, etc; make sure to test in similar conditions, not just with standard industrial test methods.

Preservation Testing

Performed before and after durability testing to evaluate antimicrobial efficacy over a given time for the products intended use.

Quality Control 

Ensure it performs as expected time after time, formulation after formulation.

Shelf Life

Options include 1, 2, and 3 year aging equivalents. Custom environmental conditions should also be considered depending on the product’s end-use

An ounce of prevention is worth 10 pounds of cure.  Antimicrobial preservatives are used for preventing microbial problems from occurring throughout a products intended use. Testing before the finished product reaches the market is easiest and less costly than responding to microbial problems after the fact.

Microbial contamination becomes a problem, as the same performance attributes, like pleasant or neutral aroma, visual appeal,  ease of use, and stability over time that lead to successful products, also lead to microbial growth.

Having a robust preservation strategy and a thorough quality control program is key to avoiding microbial problems and any resulting negative brand associations.

In highly competitive markets, knowing how the product performs whether after 1, 2 or 3 years on the shelf can also go a long way in keeping your product on the shelf and in the hands of your customer.

Changes in humidity, temperature, and other storage conditions may impact the stability of your formulation and should be examined prior to selling into various markets.

A first step to the process is to set up a robust screening process of the raw materials, packaging and production facilities to ensure the product gets to the dock intact and without harboring potential microbial challenges.

Understanding the preservative and how it responds when tested to specific performance challenges, like shelf life, determines the product’s overall durability.

A standard industrial test method may not provide the full picture of how the product performs in actual use conditions.

Situ Biosciences offers performance and preservation testing to support Quality Control and the prevention of microbial contamination while in production and after the product leaves the supplier.

A second step once the system is set up, is to run a Quality Control program and regularly run standard microbial screens that account for changes in formulations, material sourcing and seasonal fluctuations.

Assuring quality products is an ongoing process.  Knowing where common problems may occur and how to control for these prior to release of the product can greatly reduce the chance of problems down the line.

For more information on microbial quality control and personal care product testing, contact the lab at 847-483-9950 or