Record keeping is one of the most important tasks a cosmetic formulator performs because it helps to protect their intellectual property and produces successful formulations. The records need to be precise, accurate, detailed and understandable. It’s very important to record your systems of developing and making cosmetic formulations. Lab notebooks are used to document everything done in the lab. A lab notebook is very important for those developing patents and formulations. A lab notebook is separate from Standard Operating Procedures.
Lab Notebook Helps to Protect Your Intellectual Property
A lab notebook helps to protect the cosmetic formulator’s intellectual property if someone tries stealing their information or patent. The formulator has the lab notebook proving it was their original idea. To prove it is your intellectual property the lab notebook must contain standard entries with detailed information. Laboratory notebooks are available online as bound (sewn), spiral and software programs.
Record Keeping in a Lab Notebook for patents, protecting your intellectual property
A lab notebook should specify information leading up to and including formulas, charts and how you arrived at your calculation. Use a pen with black ink to write with and line out and initial any errors (never use a pencil and erase errors). In the bound lab notebook include your name, formulation title, the date and what are you planning to do and why. Include an overview of your procedure with a short outline of the key steps and the formula. If the formula is in Excel, print it and paste it in the notebook. Number the pages and cross out any blank areas on the page. Sign it and have a witness sign and date it.
A lab notebook should include a carbon copy of everything, a paper that makes a duplicate as you write on it. If you are developing a patented formulation do more research to know exactly what you need in your lab notebook
Record Keeping in a Lab Notebook for your own reference
If you are formulating and making formulations and not concerned about a patent or someone stealing your formulations, you don’t have to be as formal with your record keeping especilaly with witness signatures. It is crucial and a fundamental practice for a cosmetic formulator to keep excellent records. In my lab, I use a simple lab notebook to record everything I’m formulating and developing. My lab notebook includes precise information. I write the date, what I am planning to do and why, the name of the formulation, the equipment I am using, the temperatures, the procedure, the interaction of ingredients, the color, the viscosity, the pH and any other notes I need to know.
After I finalize the formula, I type the master formula and procedure into a program, save it and print it. I keep the printed master folder in a binder.