Cosmetic GMPs: what they mean and what they are
Cosmetic GMPs (Good Manufaturing Practices) are the guidelines to follow for good manufacturing practices of cosmetic products. The international reference standard for GMPs is ISO 22716: 2007 and precisely defines the guidelines to be followed for the stages of production, control, storage and shipping of cosmetic products.
The certification and laws that regulate the cosmetics GMP
Companies that produce full service cosmetic products or companies that deal with some production phases (for example labeling or packaging) must comply with the GMP standards defined by ISO 22716.
The application of good manufacturing standards in accordance with harmonized standards is mandatory by art. 8 of Reg. 1223:2009 which does not, however, define the obligation to obtain certification from a third party.
The company must therefore implement a internal procedures series and processes that make it possible to guarantee the cosmetic products quality as defined by the European cosmetics regulation.
GMP certifications by a third party have become a widespread tool for communicating one’s compliance with GMP standards as well as being a valid help to keep the quality management system under control with a vision that aims at the continuous improvement of one’s activities.
Fundamental principles of GMPs
In order to be able to effectively apply the GMP rules, each phase of production, control, storage and shipment of cosmetic products has to be documented, recorded and monitored so that it can be easier to identify the steps where intervene to reach higher quality levels.
The concept underlying a quality management system is to achieve the quality objectives set by intervening in advance on all the intermediate steps that lead to the final product, preferring it to the approach in which the control is carried out exclusively at the end of all processing stages. This working method allows to obtain better results with long-term savings in both human and financial resources.
Another fundamental GMPs principle concerns the staff who must be constantly trained and there must be a clear roles definition and responsibilities within the organizational structure.
As regards raw materials, packaging and all the necessary materials, it’s essential to be able to maintain traceability by resorting to good batch registrations management, the goods movements in the warehouse and the incoming and outgoing orders flows.
For the stages of production, bottling and canning, in addition to keeping each operation constantly recorded and documented, it’s important to have and faithfully follow cleaning and sanitizing procedures for all machinery and equipment in order to guarantee an environment hostile to any type of product contamination with particular attention to microbiological contamination. Furthermore, machinery and equipment must be constantly checked and verified through calibration procedures to ensure their proper functioning.
A further fundamental principle of GMP standards is the control of production water. Since cosmetics are intended for skincare, consisting of a high water percentage, this must be checked and monitored periodically in order to minimize microbiological contamination and promptly intervene in the event that the water purification process malfunctions.
Self-control: Internal audits and complaints
The management of a good quality system in accordance with the GMP ISO 22716 standards requires that continuous and periodic checks are put in place on the keeping of all company procedures.
Internal audits are a very useful tool for regularly verifying the internal processes functioning and identify with the personnel involved the areas where it’s possible to intervene to improve the entire process and achieve ever-increasing quality objectives.
In the same way, any complaints management that may come from consumers and any deviations form a not comply product with the established standards, are an excellent tool for self-control of its internal product quality management system in accordance with the regulations in force.