Troubleshooting cosmetic product formulations can be a complex task, as there are various factors that can go wrong during the formulation process. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and issues related to troubleshooting cosmetic product formulations:


1. Why does my product cause skin irritation or allergies?

  • Review the ingredient list for potential allergens or irritants.
  • Test the product on a panel of volunteers to assess skin reactions.
  • Ensure proper preservation to prevent microbial contamination.


2. How can I improve the stability of my emulsion?

  • Ensure proper emulsification techniques are used.
  • Check the compatibility of oil and water phases.
  • Use suitable emulsifiers and stabilisers.
  • Monitor and control pH levels.


3. Why does my product separate over time?

  • Inadequate emulsification can lead to phase separation
  • Insufficient use of emulsifiers or stabilisers.
  • Incompatibility of ingredients in the formulation.


4. How can I address color changes in my product?

  • Oxidation of pigments or dyes can cause colour changes. 
  • Use antioxidants to prevent this.
  • Ensure compatibility of colorants with the base formula.
  • Packaging and exposure to light can also affect colour.


5. What should I do if my product has an unpleasant odor?

  • Check the freshness and quality of raw materials.
  • Evaluate the compatibility of fragrances and essential oils with the formulation.
  • Use odour-neutralising agents if necessary.


6. How can I make my product more eco-friendly or natural?

  • Consider biodegradable packaging options.
  • Source sustainable and eco-friendly raw materials.
  • Replace synthetic ingredients with natural alternatives.


7. What can be done to increase the product’s shelf life?

  • Incorporate effective preservatives in accordance with regulations.
  • Use airtight and light-resistant packaging to minimise oxidation and microbial contamination.
  • Compatibility and microbiology testing to determine the products shelf life.


8. Why is my product too thick or too thin?

  • Thickening or thinning agents may not have been used in the correct proportions.
  • The emulsification process may not have been adequate.
  • Temperature fluctuations during formulation can affect viscosity.


9. How can I improve the texture of my product (e.g., creams, lotions)?

  • Adjust the ratios of thickening and emollient agents.
  • Consider the use of different emollients or thickeners.
  • Modify the manufacturing process to achieve the desired texture.


10. Why is my sunscreen formulation not providing the desired sun protection?

  • Ensure the proper amount and type of UV filters are used.
  • Check for ingredient interactions that may reduce SPF efficacy.
  • Conduct in vitro and in vivo testing to validate SPF claims.
  • Ensure the proper amount and type solubiliser used for UV filters


Troubleshooting cosmetic formulations often requires a systematic approach, including thorough testing, adjusting ingredient ratios, and ensuring the compatibility of all components. Additionally, staying informed about industry regulations and best practices is crucial to creating safe and effective cosmetic products. If you would like to know more about the services ADSL provides or speak to a member of our Formulation and Development team.


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If you would like to know more about the services ADSL provides or speak to a member of our Formulation and Development department please call +44 (0) 1803 520 048 or book a free video consultation with us using the Get Started link.

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