Cosmetic testing takes the next step

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sunscreen

With cosmetic testing constantly adapting to ever-changing national
and global legislation, we spoke to the Consumer Product Testing
Company to reveal some of the latest technologies and solutions
available to the industry.

"Testing of cosmetics is driven by the regulations attached to the products and various greatly according to the different governmental regulators,"​ said Edward Murphy, marketing manager at Consumer Product Testing Company​ (CPTC), which is based in New Jersey, US.

"The heart of the issue is to define what a cosmetic is in each country. Products with sunscreen protection, for example, are included under the category of cosmetics in most countries. However, in the United States, sunscreens are considered to be over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, with a very different requirement for testing compared to cosmetics."

The basic criteria is that all products should be tested to assure both safety and efficacy, as well as implementing a decent quality assurance programme established by the individual manufacturer to ensure testing is developed and adhered to, Murphy added.

CPTC, which provides testing for small and multi-national cosmetic players across six nations, says that in order to meet these requirements it has developed a 'one stop shop' designed to meet all testing. Protocols generally revolve around Human Repeated Insult Patch Test, as well as advanced Ophthalmological and Dermatological safety programmes.

Pre-clinical safety in the form of in vitro analysis (non animal) for dermal and ocular irritation are also often used to help determine whether there may be any potential irritation.

The company has also developed many individual testing programmes that have responded to the specific needs of cosmetic companies over the years revolving around all-important claims substantiation.

Mounting pressure from consumer lobby groups and government bodies means that if a product claims to eradicate fine lines, then this has to be categorically backed up laboratory research.

"Substantiation for a wide variety of claims, including skin moisturisation, fine lines, wrinkles and anti-ageing, are often performed using sensitive electronic equipment such as a Novometer, Primos System or a TEWL evaluator. Additionally, microbiological safety, especially in the form of preservative and antimicrobial efficacy and total plate counts, are performed daily," said Murphy.

The testing of antiperspirants and sunscreen products have evolved as two major areas for cosmetics testing in recent years, both of which have become rigorously regulated due to safety issues. For this reason CPTC has developed specific programmes and areas of specialisation that focus on these categories.

The company also provides analytical chemistry testing for raw materials, storage and stability, method development and validation, together with analysis for the batch release of final products.

"Two of the most critical requirements for a laboratory of our kind is to be scientifically accurate and logistically flexible. With that in mind we provide protocol development that focus around multiple claims or the unique nature of certain products. In order to provide these services, CPTC employs technical specialists in a wide variety of disciplines to cover the variables in the programmes we offer."

Related topics Formulation & Science

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