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Realtime Aesthetic Stability Testing of cosmetics and personal care products is very similar to the accelerated aesthetic test in that it tests for all the same characteristics, however the products in realtime are kept at room temperature or at temperatures for normal storage of the product for the full length of the shelf life.
Accelerated Testing is commonly used to screen samples for stability, however it may not be indicative of the shelf life all the time for all products. It is always a good idea, at least for the first time, to run a Realtime Stability Test alongside the accelerated test to verify that your testing regimen is sufficient for your product. This does not necessarily mean that you have to wait to market your product until the realtime test is complete. If the accelerated test meets your standards for quality then your product can be placed safely on the market while you await confirmation of the realtime stability test. Chances are there will be no significant difference, yet it is always better to be safe than sorry.
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Manufacturers and formulators of cosmetics that conduct realtime shelf-life studies on their products can rest assured that spoiled, soured, or aesthetically displeasing products being won't be observed or used by their consumers.