The cosmetics company Cosmoderma offers a wide range of tests and analyses of cosmetics to validate product conformity and safety.
Compatibility tests are also carried out with the chosen packaging to check the tightness of the materials in contact with the cosmetic formula.
Another fundamentally important test to be carried out during the research and development period is the challenge test.. This specific test evaluates the ability of the preservative system to keep under control any bacterial contamination that may occur during the use of the product itself.
Microbiological analyses are performed on each production batch to verify the absence of bacteria, yeasts, moulds and pathogenic organisms.
One of the most important recommended tests to assess the safety of cosmetic products with respect to the normal conditions of use indicated on the label is the patch test, a dermatological test performed in dedicated facilities on normal or sensitive skin.
Tests for heavy metals can also be carried out, in particularNichel, which allows the following claim to be used:
Our corporate ethics , inoltre, also lead us to firmly oppose any type of test carried outdirectly or indirectlyon animals.
Stability tests on cosmetics verify the intrinsic stability of the formula and that the product meets all quality standards so that it does not undergo unacceptable changes during its life cycle under precise conditions of humidity, exposure to light and temperature.
The purpose of stability tests is to define a time frame within which possible changes are recognised as acceptable to ensure the quality, safety and enjoyment of the cosmetic product for the consumer. This time frame is called the shelf-life and must be stated on the label if it is less than 30 months.
For cosmetic products with a shelf-life of more than 30 months, i.e. without an expiry date indicated on the label, it is mandatory to indicate the so-called PAO (Period After Opening). This value indicates the durability of a cosmetic product after opening and is generally related to the microbiological stability of the product.
In Annex I of Regulation (EC) 1223/2009, the elements that must be included in the Safety Assessment to which each cosmetic product must be submitted prior to placing it on the market are listed. The Safety Assessment is divided into a PART A and a PART B.
Annex I, among other elements, stipulates that PART A shall indicate:
- Chemical/physical characteristics and the result of the stability test of the cosmetic product.
- The chemical/physical characteristics of the substances or mixtures.
Therefore, stability testing is also a key aspect to be examined by the Safety Assessor.
The definition of the stability protocol depends on various aspects, in particular the type of product; however, it is possible to list the most frequently used conditions for assessing the stability of a cosmetic:
- Exposure to high temperatures;
- Exposure to low temperatures;
- Exposure to light;
- Mechanical stress testing.
Cosmetics whose packaging is transparent and may therefore allow exposure of the product to light must be tested for light stability. The illumination used in the tests should plausibly simulate the intensity and duration to which the cosmetic is likely to be exposed during its shelf-life.
Once the stability protocol to which the cosmetic product is to be subjected has been established, the product is periodically analysed and the organoleptic characteristics and physical and chemical parameters are evaluated.
Accelerated stability tests are usually performed on cosmetics in order to obtain the necessary information in the shortest possible time and thus be able to assess whether a shelf-life of more than 30 months can be attributed.
Stability protocols must accelerate any foreseeable changes in normal storage and use conditions. The parameters that are adjusted to perform an accelerated stability test are temperature, humidity and exposure to light. The values obtained from this type of test must be evaluated and interpreted very carefully as there is also the risk of causing changes that would never occur under normal conditions. It is not certain that a product found to be unstable at high temperatures is actually unstable under normal conditions of use.
Natural stability tests consist of monitoring the product under normal storage conditions and assessing whether any changes occur long after production. It is a type of test that requires very long data collection times and does not allow us to prove the product’s stability under stress conditions.
For these reasons, natural stability tests are carried out during the life of the cosmetic product, collecting data after development, when the product is placed on the market.
Packaging is an extremely important element of the finished product that is indispensable for the marketing of the cosmetic and for its protection. It also enables the correct use of the product and directly influences the consumer experience.
Given its importance, it is very important to check the efficiency of the packaging by checking its tightness and correct dispensing to assess its functionality.
The cosmetic formula comes into direct contact with the packaging material; therefore, the latter must pass the compatibility test that evaluates possible chemical-physical interactions between the product and its container.
The protocol for assessing compatibility between formula and material is established according to the type of packaging and the temperature, usage and storage conditions that the finished product is likely to encounter.
The challenge test is one of the most important microbiological tests that must be carried out on a cosmetic product and is performed during the research and development phase.
The purpose of this specific test is to assess the capacity of the preservative system in formulas that are at risk of bacterial contamination.
Micro-organisms are voluntarily inoculated into the product to simulate a microbial attack, a situation that could occur during the entire life of the cosmetic and during its use, more or less appropriate, by the consumer.
We proceed with the evaluation of the microbial load at different experimental times up to a total period of 28 days. This assesses over time the ability of the preservative used to reduce the microbial load inoculated into the sample.
The evaluation of the efficacy of the preservative system is therefore a fundamental step in the production of a safe and compliant cosmetic final product.
The Patch test is a LIVE dermatological test that assesses the irritation potential of cosmetics. It verifies that the product is not irritating or harmful to the skin and allows us to detect possible allergic reactions.
Thanks to collaborations with various universities and private analysis laboratories, we carry out dermatological tests on normal and sensitive skin to obtain the following certifications:
In this type of test, the product is applied to the skin of a suitable number of volunteers, following the instructions described in the instructions for use, in order to best mimic the consumer’s conditions of use.
The product is applied to the skin of the back and forearm with a porous patch and left in situ for 48 hours.
Assessment of any irritant reactions such as redness, swelling and oedema are measured after 15 minutes and 24 hours after removal of the patch under the supervision of a dermatologist.
It is not a compulsory test for the marketing of the cosmetic but is carried out by the company to obtain an assessment of the tolerability of the product; it is therefore highly recommended.
Microbiological analysis is an essential test that is carried out during the production phase to verify the absence of microorganisms.
Its purpose is to exclude any external contamination occurring during the production and bottling process, so as to guarantee the quality and safety of the finished product for the consumer.
The analytical protocol involves taking a production sample and determining the microbiological load of the cosmetic by assessing the presence of bacteria, yeasts, moulds and pathogenic organisms.
The Nickel test is an optional test that specifically detects Nickel, a heavy metal that causes irritation and allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to this particular element.
The test protocol consists of analysing a production sample and detecting the Nickel content; the test must be repeated for each batch as the presence of this element is related to the production plant and machinery.
If the product has a Nickel content of less than 1 ppm (parts per million) corresponding to 0.00001%, the claim ‘Nickel tested’ can be indicated on the label.