Every manufacturer of cosmetic products should be able to vouch for the efficacy and safety of each and everyone one of their products. People often use these products without any knowledge of what it contains and the hazards they may pose to the human body. The cosmetics, therefore, need to be tested in a proper environment to ensure that they are suitable for use by customers.
Safety Assessment and Challenge Testing
Cosmetics often contain substances relevant for preservation and this needs to be tested by experimentation via Challenge testing. The Challenge test is used for analyzing the preservation qualities of cosmetics. This test is used for a number of products apart from cosmetics including personal care products and medical products. The Challenge test for cosmetics is quite essential for testing all cosmetic products. It tests the products robustness as against microbiological contamination. The reason for that is the fact that results have to be in line with the requirements of cosmetics regulation. A number of protocols are used for Challenge testing on cosmetics ranging from the usual Pharmacopoeia protocols to the ‘Mixed culture’ test and even the wet-wipe related contamination evaluation. This screening process can be done in 14 days for candidates that cannot wait too long to make decisions on their products.
This evaluation of the preservation efficacy of products helps the testing of cosmetics to reach new heights and helps manufacturers to be able to launch new products that are viable and do not give unwanted side effects. Challenge testing is very necessary for new product offerings in terms of cosmetics, as regulatory organizations tend to scrutinize greatly the new products introduced to the market.
A number of testing protocols exist when conducting a Challenge test for cosmetics. This includes the EP or USP 51 protocol, which means challenging the material with a host of microorganisms including Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and E coli. Samples are then withdrawn at different time intervals. The cosmetic passes the preservation test if there is no increase, or there is a significant fall in a number of microorganisms in the preparation. The results of this test are usually ready within 35 days.
Another test is the Challenge ISO11930 testing protocol, which evaluates the preservation of a cosmetic formulation. Others include the Re-inoculation protocol, Mixed culture test and Wipe protocol where wipes are tested for a microbial count.
Challenge testing for cosmetics helps to raise the standards and safety level of cosmetics introduced into the market. It is good that there are restrictions on the kinds of cosmetics that are given to the public, as most of these new products tend to have chemicals that produce unwanted side effects. Challenge testing and the safety assessment test, therefore, gives regulatory authorities a yardstick for knowing products that can be allowed into the market and products that cannot be deemed fit for public consumption. Manufacturers that fail the Challenge test are given information on this development and are advised to make adjustments to the product’s components or make new products altogether.