Color Cosmetics: Using Spectrophotometry for Process Monitoring and Quality Control

Today’s cosmetics market offers a wide variety of choices. With a limitless selection of color cosmetics, it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends. Despite the wide array of color cosmetics and choices available, many people still stick with the basic color palette that they feel best compliments their individual look and style. Repeatability in cosmetic manufacturing is an essential element of quality and resale ability. Color cosmetics must rely on effective and reliable color measurement to ensure exact color matching. Spectrophotometry saves both time and resources by providing consistent color monitoring at every stage of manufacturing and development.

make-up color cosmetics
Color cosmetics include a wide variety of products that rely on color measurement for quality control and resale ability.
Image Source: Flickr user Pete

Measuring color the way that it is seen by the human eye

There is a variety of methods used to measure color cosmetics. From basic visual analysis to advanced spectrophotometry, color measurement is necessary to meet consumer needs and demands. Specific color-matching depends on what the consumer desires for proper skin tone and application purposes. Foundation and powder formulas are commonly used to enhance the appearance of the skin and vary in color shades and hues. These slight variations can be very difficult to detect with the human eye and proper development depends on quantifiable color data to ensure repeatability. Manufacturers of color cosmetics apply colorimetric and spectrophotometric technology to the development of specific formulations based on the precise calculations provided by this form of analysis.

Sphere-based spectrophotometric technology compares most accurately with the way the human eye views color, and is a top choice for measuring color cosmetics. The various hues and textures of color cosmetics can make it difficult to obtain accurate and reliable color measurement data. Sphere technology is specifically designed to account for various texture differences, such as gloss and sheen as well and various degrees of opacity. When working with color cosmetics, it is essential to use instrumentation that is adaptable to these various product needs. Whether working with powders, liquids, or solids, sample measurement and readability require proper instrumentation to guarantee results in the same way that the consumer views product quality.

eye shadow color cosmetics
Cosmetics come in a variety of hues and textures and advanced spectrophotometry offers quantifiable data which corresponds with the way color is viewed by the human eye.
Image Source: Flickr user Courtney Rhodes

Process color monitoring for quality control

Creating consistent and reliable products ensures consumer satisfaction, but measurability of color cosmetics affects more than just the final product outcome. Color cosmetics are made up of a variety of chemical compounds that are carefully formulated together to create the perfect blend of color. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates many of the raw materials used in color cosmetics in order to ensure consumer safety. Spectrophotometry can be applied to these chemical compounds as well, and helps ensure compliance with these strict guidelines.

Spectrophotometry can also be applied to color cosmetics throughout the various stages of processing and development. With the ability to offer on-line color measurement data, these tools can provide valuable information regarding formulation errors that can occur during the early stages of production, saving both time and money in the long run. Final product analysis is also an important step in the quality control of color cosmetics. Spectrophotometers offer a quick and easy-to-use method of analysis at an affordable price.

lip stick color cosmetics
Spectrophotometers meet many of the challenges of color analysis by accurately quantifying color for a variety of materials that range from matte to high-gloss in appearance.
Image Source: Flickr user Debs (ò‿ó)♪

Leaders in color technology

HunterLab is a leader in spectrophotometry and color technology. Offering a wide variety of services to various industries, HunterLab stands apart in the ability to meet the various needs and challenges of our customers. Our instrumentation is uniquely adaptable to specific color measurement applications, including the color cosmetics industry. We strive to develop a strong relationship with our clients and back our products with unsurpassed customer support. Contact HunterLab today to see why we are a first choice in cosmetic color analysis.

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