The Different Tests Made to Ensure the Stability and Safety of Cosmetics


The right cosmetics for any skin type are important to prevent allergies to the products. But to so many people, they simply pick up a bottle, go to the counter, and pay for that product. If they see their favorite celebrity using a cosmetic product, it is so easy for them to drop by the beauty store and pick one out for themselves. Sure, women do a quick research if the cosmetic products can do what it says it can. But for the most part, that research refers to the efficacy of the products and not if it is even safe to use.

There are various tests that cosmetic products need to pass before they are distributed to the general public. These tests aim to make sure that the products are free from harmful microorganisms that could affect the safety of the product and the people who will use it. For manufacturers, passing these tests also means they can use it for the betterment of their brands.

In marketing, the better the quality of the products, the better it is for its brand image and sales. When people trust that cosmetic products are safe and effective, companies can expand their brands. People have access to vast information on the internet. This is why it has never been more important for brands to ensure the safety of their products.

Microbiological Testing

test tubesUsing an incubator as lab equipment, cosmetic manufacturers must ensure that the cosmetic products are free of objectionable microorganisms. This test introduces pathogenic microorganisms in the incubator to see how the products will react. These are the different microbial test methods: aerobic plate count, enrichment method for specific pathogen screening, yeast and mold count, antimicrobial preservative effectiveness test (challenge test), total gram-negative test, total gram-positive test, and microbial identification.

Cosmetics, in general, do not need to be sterile. However, the people who use them usually bring bacteria into the fold. Consumers of beauty products introduce contaminants by touching the products with unclean hands. They challenge the stability of the preservatives in the products. This testing checks the formulation preservative system to ensure that even when contaminated, the products won’t grow harmful microorganisms.

Stability Testing

Consumers don’t always finish off a tube of lipstick in a week or even a month. Cosmetic products have long shelf lives. However, that doesn’t mean they will still be as effective as when the consumers first bought them. That’s why licensing agencies require a stability test. This will determine that during shelf life and consumer use, the products will maintain its physical aspect, function, and chemical and microbiological quality. As the products stay on your shelf, it should not grow microbiological organisms.

To do the stability test, the cosmetic products are exposed to real conditions. By the end of the test, the products should have no color, odor, or physical aspect change. This is how the manufacturers will know until when a product is okay for use. For example, lipsticks last between 12 and 18 months while eyeliners expire somewhere between three months and three years.

Toxicological Testing

This test allows manufacturers to see if the products will cause adverse reactions and irritations on a user’s skin. The test will highlight the effects of the products once they come in contact with one’s skin and eyes. Some products cause skin irritation and eye corrosion, so cosmetic manufacturers need to ensure the safety of the products. The most common types of toxicological tests are in-vitro, cytotoxicity, phototoxicity, and mutagenicity.

Performance Testing

What are the claims of the products? Consumers buy these products because of the claims they make. Performance testing makes sure that the claims are real. The test includes checking the products’ functionality, durability, and usability. If you are promoting that the products can reduce blemishes, then they should prove that with the test. If the manufacturers claim that the products can provide volume to the consumer’s hair, then the test should prove that, too.

Compatibility With Packaging

Regulatory bodies also want manufacturers to test the packaging of the products. Are there chemicals in the packaging that can affect the products and the users? Are the products altered because of the packaging? The packaging will be the first to come in contact with the finished product, so it mustn’t present a risk for the consumers.

Before you go into a buying spree, check the labels and the tests done on the products. Educate yourself about the tests required by regulatory bodies in your country. Trust that they have the best interest at heart. Read reviews, recommendations, and white papers. You want to make sure you’re not only buying what’s best for your skin but also supporting a brand that follows the rules.

The Author

Scroll to Top