Who are
the target groups
of our cosmetic analyses?

Cosmetics must be analysed before they enter the market in order to exclude any risk to human health. Manu­fac­turers, contract manu­fac­turers and contract fillers have a partic­ular oblig­a­tion here. But Cosmetic testing is also neces­sary for packers and pack­aging compa­nies, as well as in research and development.

Legal regu­la­tions for cosmetics

There are numerous legal regu­la­tions for cosmetic prod­ucts to ensure that they can be placed on the market safely and to exclude risks for the consumer.

  • Regu­la­tion (EC) 1223/2009 on cosmetic prod­ucts basi­cally regu­lates which oblig­a­tions apply to cosmetics.
  • Regu­la­tion (EU) No. 655/2013, the Claims Regu­la­tion, regu­lates under which condi­tions adver­tising claims on cosmetic prod­ucts can be used.
  • This is supple­mented by the Tech­nical docu­ment on cosmetic claims” in which common criteria for the use of adver­tising claims are defined.
  • Asso­ci­a­tions and insti­tu­tions such as BfR, BVL and IKW eval­uate cosmetic prod­ucts and their ingre­di­ents and make recommendations.
  • Recom­men­da­tions and regu­la­tions are also published in offi­cial publications.
  • Further­more, there are country-specific ordi­nances, such as the German Cosmetics Ordi­nance, which regu­lates, for example, the duty of noti­fi­ca­tion for German cosmetics companies.

In order for a cosmetic product to be offered on the market without risks, it must undergo various tests for safety and stability. These Cosmetic testing include:

  • A so-called preser­va­tion load test, which is evidence of micro­bi­o­log­ical stability and is carried out as stan­dard according to DIN EN ISO 11930.
  • The chem­ical-phys­ical stability test, because a cosmetic product must be stable over its entire life cycle.

Test types
for cosmetic testing

The ingre­di­ents of cosmetics must be tested micro­bi­o­log­i­cally, chem­i­cally, phys­i­ology-chem­ical and senso­rial so that safe prod­ucts can be put on the market and skin health is not endangered.

All rele­vant micro­bi­o­log­ical cosmetic testing is routinely carried out in the Tentamus Group labo­ra­to­ries. The labo­ra­to­ries are accred­ited according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 and meet all require­ments for the safety assess­ment of cosmetic products.
  • Microbiological Cosmetic Testing

    The ISO 17516 regulation defines general requirements and limit values for the microbiological quality of cosmetic products. In detail, this includes the following analyses:

    • quantitative testing of the aerobic mesophilic total plate count
    • quantitative testing of yeasts and moulds
    • qualitative analysis (absence) of specified microorganisms in 1g of product : Pseudomonas aeruginosa, aureus, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans
    • qualitative analysis (absence) of non-specified microorganisms in 1g of product
    • identification of microorganisms in growth absence of Pluralibacter gergoviae in 1g product

    These analysis of cosmetics is carried out as part of release testing, batch and routine controls.

    Preservation load tests are carried out as part of the development and controls of products. The results are required once for the safety assessment required by the EU Cosmetics Regulation or when products are reformulated. In a preservation stress test, also called challenge test, the product is inoculated with the microorganisms and stored under defined conditions (time, temperature, etc.). After the defined time, the microbial count and the microbial count development are determined in order to be able to make statements about microbial stability.

    The microbiological parameters listed above (except for the preservative load test) should also be tested during the quality control of raw materials, because the quality of cosmetics is largely dependent on the quality of the raw materials used.

    Microbiological analyses must also be carried out as part of hygiene and monitoring in the factories. Here, for example, the production water is analyzed and smear and swab samples are taken.

    More information on Microbiological Analysis
  • Chemical cosmetic testing

    In addition to microbiological testing of cosmetic products, chemical testing is also relevant to ensure that the product can be safely marketed. For this purpose, the products are analyzed for the following parameters:

    • Declarable or prohibited fragrances
    • Preservatives
    • Phthalates (plasticizers)
    • PAHs
    • Heavy metals
    • NDELA or nitrosamines in general
    • Mineral oils (MOSH/MOAH)
    • Formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers
    • Pesticides (especially when using plant-based raw materials or natural cosmetics)
    • Active ingredients: e.g. panthenol, vitamin E and vitamin E acetate (=tocopherol and tocopherol acetate), glycerin
    • Physical parameters such as pH value, density, viscosity, water activity (aw value) etc.
    More information on Chemical Analysis
  • Sensory testing of cosmetic products

    In sensory testing, products are described objectively using the human senses. Here properties such as odor, appearance, consistency and skin feel are described. In the case of cosmetic products, phase separations can occur in emulsions, precipitates or sediments, which are revealed during sensory testing. Changes to the packaging material due to storage, heat, etc. are also possible.

    More information on Sensory Testing
  • Residue analysis of harmful substances in cosmetics

    Residues of harmful substances in cosmetics repeatedly lead to products that are not marketable. Therefore, a regular determination of the ingredients to comply with limit values is of utmost importance. Safety assessment is therefore an integral part of cosmetic testing. Possible residues include heavy metals, nitrosamines, phthalates, etc.

    More informationen on Residue Analysis

What is the INCI database and how is it included in the analyses?

The ingre­di­ents of cosmetic prod­ucts are labeled according to an inter­na­tional agree­ment, the so-called INCI (Inter­na­tional Nomen­cla­ture of Cosmetic Ingre­di­ents).

The CosIng data­base is an inter­pre­ta­tion aid and trans­lates the glos­sary with the INCI data. This simpli­fies the search for cosmetic ingre­di­ents and also provides further infor­ma­tion on their use.

It is manda­tory to correctly list the INCI infor­ma­tion of the formu­la­tion on the pack­aging or label of the product.

What is
Organic & Vegan Cosmetics?

The market for vegan and organic and natural cosmetics is growing and enjoying increasing popu­larity among consumers. However, there are currently no specific regu­la­tory require­ments for these prod­ucts and the terms organic” and natural” are not clearly defined by law for cosmetic products.

With ISO 16218, there has been an inter­na­tional stan­dard for natural cosmetics for a few years, in which, for example, cosmetic ingre­di­ents are divided into cate­gories. However, this ISO regu­la­tion is viewed crit­i­cally, as the require­ments are not very high and in some cases fall short of the require­ments of various associations.

The aim is to avoid pesti­cide residues in cosmetics and this can be checked via the raw mate­rials and end products.

Microplastics
in cosmetic products

Currently, cosmetic prod­ucts containing microplas­tics are frequently the subject of discus­sion among consumer portals and envi­ron­mental asso­ci­a­tions. Consumers are there­fore increas­ingly paying atten­tion to using prod­ucts without microplastics.

For this reason, many compa­nies have volun­tarily signed a disclaimer on the use of microplas­tics in their products.

There is currently (still) no ban on microplas­tics in cosmetic products.

Label checks
of cosmetic products

The totality of all infor­ma­tion on the pack­aging or label of a cosmetic product is subject to EU cosmetics legis­la­tion. For example, the compo­nents of the INCI are listed as ingre­di­ents in a spec­i­fied order. In addi­tion, the 26 aller­genic fragrances that may be used in cosmetic prod­ucts are subject to manda­tory labeling. Further regu­la­tions must be observed when spec­i­fying the best-before date.

Tentamus analyzes the exact compo­si­tion of cosmetic arti­cles and offers to create labels in accor­dance with the legal requirements.

Overview of laboratories for cosmetic testing
of the Tentamus Group

The following labo­ra­to­ries from the Tentamus Group offer cosmetic testing:

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