How Are Cosmetic Products Tested?


Testing is an integral aspect of the registration process for cosmetic products. For cosmetic products, there are three significant forms of research. It’s essential to keep in mind that testing is usually the most time-consuming aspect of the cosmetic product registration process before beginning the enforcement process.

Contract research agencies that investigate the nature and composition of cosmetic products are known as cosmetic testing laboratories. Due to their sizable annual production and use, cosmetic products are subjected to extensive testing and quality control to ensure ingredient protection and formulation accuracy.

Need for testing:

Cosmetic laboratories are now essential for launching a cosmetic product that can be manufactured, procured, and sold safely—especially given the growing popularity of these items among people of all ages, genders, and cultures. In general, any cosmetic product must be thoroughly examined for safety and a list of ingredients.

  1. Ensure safety with high data integrity: Make sure the cosmetic product testing is performed correctly and following all applicable SOPs.
  2. Meet Quality Requirements: Quantitatively meet all safety and efficiency standards. Toxicology testing for cosmetic products helps determine if they are both safe and reliable.
  3. Support Complete Product Creation: The best cosmetic laboratories will assist cosmetic brands with all aspects of product development, from ingredient identification to formulation.

There are mainly three types of testing done on cosmetics to ensure their quality.

  • Physical and microbiological testing:

The total count of aerobic mesophilic microbes, which includes bacteria, yeast, and molds, must be included in the finished cosmetic product’s microbiological requirements. Depending on the type of cosmetic product, there are two types of maximum limits that can be used.

The total count limit for products intended for children under the age of three, the eye region, or mucous membranes is 100 CFU per gram or ml. The cap for all other items is 1000 CFU per g or ml.

Also, products must be tested for four of the most common pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli, and the absence of these pathogens in 1 g or 1 ml must be demonstrated.

Physical and chemical properties are chosen depending on the type of product formulation. Still, viscosity, volume, pH, chemical oxidation, physical condition, and organoleptic properties are some of the most widely investigated parameters.

  • Challenge testing:

Cosmetics that can worsen or pose a risk to customers under regular storage and use conditions must undergo a cosmetics challenge examination. Cosmetic preservation is needed to ensure the product’s microbial protection and its consistency and safety during its shelf life.

To put it another way, we want to avoid product spoilage and protect customers from potential health hazards associated with using a cosmetic product with cosmetic testing.

Challenge testing aims to see whether microorganisms induced during regular and reasonably foreseeable use can harm the product’s quality or protection.

The substance is artificially polluted during challenge processing, and the contamination is then assessed. The product’s preservation system must be successful enough to reduce the level of microorganisms to the approved, predefined microbial limits to pass the test.

The challenge test takes typically four weeks, and it only has to be repeated under rare circumstances, such as when a product is reformulated.

  • Stability and compatibility testing:

It is necessary to anticipate and prevent changes to the physical nature of the final product that may occur during transportation, storing, or processing of the product.

By introducing the product to different conditions such as temperature changes, moisture, UV light, mechanical forces, researchers can predict variables whereby a product might be exposed to prolonged storage and see if these circumstances have a detrimental effect on the product’s quality and protection.

Another significant reason for conducting a stability test is determining the product’s minimum longevity and its Period After Opening (PAO). During stability testing, compliance between the formulation and the primary packaging is tested in addition to the physical stability of the product formulation.

The packaging used may affect the end product’s stability, such as the leaching of packaging substances into the production process. Stability testing should be carried out in both inactive packaging (such as glass containers) and the actual packaging material in which the product will be sold.

If people plan to use various packaging forms, it’s good to test the product in each one. Stability assessments are divided into two categories: real-time and accelerated. Stability monitoring in real-time keeps an eye on the product for most of its shelf life.

On the other hand, exponential testing is carried out under accelerated conditions, such as high temperatures. As a result, the testing time is reduced, and such experiments usually last three months.

In certain situations, such as product reformulation, modifying the primary packaging material, or other significant improvements in the production process or equipment used, the stability and compatibility test must be repeated.

Finally, researchers must stress the significance of the testing study. The report must contain all relevant testing details and a specific conclusion, and the signature of the individual in charge of the testing.