Stability and shelf life testing of natural anhydrous formulations

ttt0358ttt0358 Member


I am experimenting with anhydrous balms/butters. So far I got an impression that it is always a compromise between a nice soft texture and temperature stability. I want to use natural ingredients and by natural I mean those that sound natural or/and approved by Ecocert.

What I am puzzled about it what is the right way to conduct stability and shelf life test for such products. I want to make them at home before contacting professional testers. It seems it’s not uncommon to sell products with quite low melting point, at least for a small business not shipping internationally. I live in Northern Europe and see around some local companies selling butters that contain only shea and some liquid oils.

  1. What are the reasonable ways to conduct stability testing for “natural” anhydrous formulations? I didn’t have a chance to actually test the stability yet and thinking of buying an incubator for my home lab. But I believe their texture will change inevitably with temperature changes. 
  2. Sounds like a weird question, but do you think it is okay to sell a product that melts, let’s say at 35C or lower? 
  3. How about shelf life testing? Would it make sense to keep the balm at 45C for a couple of months, even if it melts, then let it solidify and check for appearance and functionality changes.
  4. Also I appreciate if anyone could advise any ingredients that can improve temperature stability without making balms too hard. I searched through this forum and found some suggestions, but they are not generally accepted if one wants to make natural and vegan claims.
Quite a lot of questions, hope to get answers at least to some of them. Many thanks in advance :)


  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    That's more than one query there @ttt0358. Too much to cover in one post. Thermal accelerated testing of sticks is not usually necessary: their melt points do not change with time and aging. Oxidative stability is another story altogether. As for improving stability: what type of stability are you concerned with? melt point? texture? appearance? Try carnauba wax for beginners, ozokerite if you can be flexible on that "natural" thing. 
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