Certificate in Cosmetic Preservatives

The selection of a preservative for a cosmetic formulation is undoubtedly one of the most important, yet most controversial, aspects a cosmetic chemist can make. With so much choice in cosmetic preservatives available, and so much misinformation on the internet, how does a cosmetic formulator make the Perfect Preservative selection?

There is a lot to consider when making your cosmetic preservative selection, including, but not limited to:

  • company philosophy – how natural, organic, or not does the cosmetic  preservative need to be?
  • pH of the finished product – many cosmetic preservatives have a limited pH range over which they are effective, so choosing a cosmetic preservative that will suit your final product pH needs is crucial
  • action of the preservative – your cosmetic preservative must be broad spectrum against bacteria, yeast and mould
  • some preservatives will have a ‘static’ action while others will have a ‘cidal’ action – learn the difference, how to make your selections and when each type is better suited to your specific cosmetic formulas
  • type of packaging and ingredients – some cosmetic ingredients and packaging types have greater cosmetic preservative needs than others, so your choice needs to be stronger in some cases
  • cosmetic regulations over safe and suitable limits of cosmetic preservatives – even natural preservatives have limits!
  • antioxidant and chelating agent selection criteria for different types of cosmetic formulations

This study program looks very specifically at all of these items and helps you understand how to make the best cosmetic preservative selections to suit your formulation needs, using both natural and synthetic cosmetic ingredients. We teach both natural and synthetic approaches to formulating to ensure training is professional and comprehensive, but learners are able to focus specifically on the modality (organic, natural, synthetic or a blend of these approaches) that is of most interest to them.



  • Start Date: Can be started at any time
  • Mode of delivery: On-Line/Distance
  • Entry Requirements: 
    • Minimum 15 years of age or older
  • Duration: 40 study hours.
    • Normal duration: 2 weeks (flexible study plan up to 6 weeks).










See an example of assessment




3+ hours online lectures
(full course: 40 study hours)

Learn through over 3 cosmetic science videos where our qualified and experienced Cosmetic Chemists walk you through the 1200 study hours of course content in detail.

Professional Cosmetic chemist textbook

Download our comprehensive and detailed textbook. With more than 50 pages, this professional manual will be your guide during and your reference after your studies. This program also comes with full natural and synthetic preservative tables listing over 200 synthetic preservatives and blends you can choose from, and over 70 natural preservatives and blends you can choose from to suit various formulation needs.


Guided learning materials

Effectively study online with a comprehensive guided study checklist to plan and track your study progress. See an example of how our study is laid out step-by-step. 

1-on-1 training support

Don't wait to get your questions answered on a forum. Get support directly from your trainer - a qualified Cosmetic Chemist - when you need help. Meet our trainer here


Detailed study feedback

Understand and learn with detailed feedback for every assessment from your trainer, an experienced Cosmetic Chemist. Learn more about your future trainer

Real-life work scenarios 

No quizzes or games - get ready to work in the cosmetic industry with several real-life work scenarios throughout your studies. See an example of assessments here.


Raw materials database

Get lifetime access to our database containing information on thousands of cosmetic raw materials and suppliers contacts. 

Professional  community

Join a professional community online with hundreds of qualified Cosmetic Chemists from over 75 countries in the world. Build your network! 

Study options




Study Only:

Online Lectures + Text 

Get the learning with - no assessment commitment.

* No due dates

* Unlimited access to online lectures - 3 full cosmetic science training lectures, you can watch anytime, over and over again.

* Full electronic text - over 50 pages of Professional cosmetic chemistry training text + over 200 synthetic preservative choices + over 70 natural preservative choices

* Lifelong access to our database to work examples and activities to support learning





Pay with EURO from €135

 Pay with USD from $150 

 Pay with AUD from $200 

Full Program:

Full Certificate Program

Get the learning, trainer support, assessment, and Certificate.

* Up to 6 weeks to complete full qualification

* Unlimited access to online lectures – 3 full cosmetic science training lectures, you can watch anytime, over and over again.

* Full electronic text - over 50 pages of Professional cosmetic chemistry training text + over 200 synthetic preservative choices + over 70 natural preservative choices

* Lifelong access to our database to work examples and activities to support learning

* Access to our Students & Graduates Facebook community

* 1-on1 trainer support 

* 1 written assessment

* Hard copy Certificate

Pay with EURO from €270

 Pay with USD from $300 

 Pay with AUD from $400 


 Access full student Prospectus, policies and procedures.

Course structure and learning outcomes



  • be able to make confident selections from over 200 synthetic preservatives and over 70 natural cosmetic preservatives specific to their formulation needs
  • check specific pH requirements of a variety of cosmetic preservatives
  • know the heat and processing requirements of various cosmetic preservatives
  • know how to select the right input of a cosmetic preservative as part of their overall formulation requirements
  • know how to write cosmetic preservatives, antioxidants and chelating agents into their formulas for their best performance
  • select cosmetic preservatives for natural and organic cosmetics
  • know how to conduct preservative efficacy testing (challenge testing) as well as how to interpret results
  • effectively preserve a variety of cosmetic formulas with various pH, ingredient and company philosophy needs
  • make safe, suitable and effective cosmetic preservative selections specific to various formulation needs



  • Cosmetic Brand owners – it is a company responsibility that any brand with product in the marketplace MUST be safe for consumer use (including safe and suitable preservation)
  • Cosmetic formulators wanting professional training in how to select cosmetic preservatives specific to different formulation needs, especially natural and organic preservatives
  • Those with their own cosmetic brand making formulas, even at a small scale, to ensure their product is effectively preserved



  • There are no practical requirements as part of this program, so you will not need access to equipment.



  • This course consists of 1 unit of competency
  • Full-time study = 36-38 hours per week to complete in 1 week
  • Part-time study = 15-20 hours per week to complete in 2 weeks
  • Flexible study = 5-10 hours per week to complete in 6 weeks
  • Study load consists of:
    • Guided training and workplace simulations = 20 hours
    • Extension research and assessment activities = 20 hours



  • On-line lectures to support learning and activities within the text
  • Electronic text for 1 unit
  • Written assessment comprising theoretical questions and workplace simulated scenarios




Select preservatives for personal care formulas

Covers the identification and selection of appropriate preservatives in the development of personal care formulations. It also covers aspects such as self-preserving formulas, use of antioxidants and other agents to prolong shelf life, and challenge testing. Learn how to:

  • identify and evaluate the suitability of various preservatives in their application to a personal care formulation
  • select appropriate preservatives for a variety of personal care products and applications.