Microbiological quality of cosmetic products: a key element in the Safety Report

Published: 16-Dec-2021

The aim is to determine the acceptable microbiological specifications of the ingredients and finished products

IDEA Lab, the in vitro testing laboratory of SGS IDEA, offers, with more than 25 year experience, all the services necessary to provide the microbiological data required by the Cosmetics Regulation EU 1223/2009.

Microbiological quality data of a cosmetic product must be determined and included in the cosmetic product safety report.

Cosmetic products must be safe for human health and the Regulation requires that a cosmetic product safety report (CPSR) is set up that includes a section on the microbiological quality.

The aim is to determine the acceptable microbiological specifications of the ingredients and finished products.

The reasons for microbial preservation of cosmetics are:

  • to ensure the microbial safety for the consumers
  • to maintain the intended quality and specifications
  • and, hence, to preserve the image and the reputation of the companies

Particular attention is to be paid for cosmetics to be used on sensitive body parts (around the eyes, on mucous membranes, on damaged skin) and on specific populations (children under 3 years, elderly people, people with compromised immune responses).

In addition, this information is essential to justify the effectiveness of the preservation system and justify the shelf life and period after opening of cosmetics in terms of safety.

IDEA Lab is able to assess the microbiological risk of your product in agreement with the ISO 29621:2017 standard, then to propose you suitable tests that will confirm the product safety:

  • The assessment of the microbiological quality (microbial limit tests) for cosmetics described in the international standard ISO 17516:2014
  • The preservation efficacy test or Challenge test. In Europe, the internationally recognised ISO 11930:2019 standard is mostly used but IDEA Lab proposes also USP and Eu.Ph. standards, screening tests, adapted tests for specific products (e.g.wet wipes) and test performed on “factory” strains.
  • Water activity measurement
  • Microbiological tests after clinical in use tests and/or after accelerated ageing in incubators

Microbiological efficacy tests are also available at IDEA Lab such as anti-microbial activity according to international standards or following specific protocols, particularly focused on microbiote protection.

Whatever your project or your product, the microbiological quality is a critical element of the safety assessment that should be evaluated as soon as possible after validation of the formulation.

IDEA Lab, in collaboration with the other IDEA Tests Group departments, helps you establish the right testing strategy in combination with the skin tolerance evaluation.

For more information, please contact Frédéric NUNZI:

Head of IDEA Lab, Doctor in Cell Biology and Microbiology / Eurotox Expert (Regulatory and in vitro Toxicology) f.nunzi@groupeideatests.com

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