Safety, efficacy, quality, and correct labeling are vital areas of focus for organizations that manufacture and sell personal care products (i.e. cosmetics, hair and skin care products, and toiletries).

Consumers are increasingly demanding to see proof of products’ quality, compliance, safety, and efficacy at all stages of the product development lifecycle. Major global markets have responded by strengthening their regulations, helping consumers more easily understand the scientific makeup of complex products – as well as identifying those that might pose a risk to their health. Manufacturers and retailers of personal care products must therefore ensure the safety and efficacy of their products before bringing them to market. Specialized partnering laboratories play a vital role in helping these organizations to demonstrate that their materials and products are compliant with the latest local market requirements.

In recent years, the contract laboratory sector has undergone a rapid transformation when it comes to the testing processes they follow and the technology that they use. These advancements have largely been driven by the introduction of increasingly stringent legal regulations and standards. However, choosing which testing services and protocols to follow is no easy task. Manufacturers must therefore work alongside experienced testing partners to develop relevant testing methods and design reliable protocols. So, what should you look for when selecting a laboratory for your cosmetic product testing needs? First, let’s clarify some basic requirements for such a laboratory:

  • Professional experience: are there a sufficient number of experienced staff in place who can run your studies? The laboratory staff’s experience and know-how are the driving forces behind creating – and implementing – innovative testing solutions. Make sure to look at their CVs and training records in detail, while you could even talk with other people in the industry to gauge their wider reputation
  • Equipment and facilities: innovative equipment (such as image processing and analysis systems or automated instruments) allow laboratory staff to develop turnkey testing solutions for their clients. However, these pieces of equipment and devices are expensive – and they require well-trained personnel to operate them effectively. Ensure your chosen laboratory partner possesses state-of-the-art analytical equipment, a wide range of first-class facilities to fulfill your product´s specific testing needs, and personnel that have been trained to use the equipment properly
  • Panelists: qualified panelists are a must-have when running clinical studies. Unfortunately, they have become a scarce resource for laboratories over the past few years. You must therefore clarify whether or not the laboratory in question can recruit a sufficient number of qualified subjects for their clients
  • Accreditation: does the laboratory possess a wide range of necessary accreditations and certifications that can attest to its testing quality?
  • Communication: high-quality testing partners must help their clients see the value of conducting more than simply basic tests. Many clients do not know which questions to ask and need help figuring out which analyses need to be performed for each of their products. The best contract laboratories prioritize active communication throughout the entire testing process
  • Fast turnaround time (TAT): delays are costly. Cosmetics and personal care manufacturers must get their products to market as quickly and seamlessly as possible – so it is paramount that contract laboratories provide a rapid TAT
  • A global network: venturing into new markets is a complex process. Organizations must ensure they can access detailed knowledge, regulatory expertise and critical testing services throughout the world. This will ensure that their international operations do not face any unexpected hurdles
  • Flexibility: no two organizations’ needs are the same. Contract laboratories that provide flexible, customized solutions are suitably placed to adapt to their clients’ ever-changing requirements

Why SGS is the Ideal Partnering Laboratory

Established in 1878, SGS has a wealth of experience as a partnering laboratory. Our global network of testing facilities across Asia, Europe, and North America is staffed by knowledgeable and experienced personnel.

With a full suite of state-of-the-art analytical capabilities, SGS’s specialized labs can respond to your specific needs and constraints. Our team is accustomed to providing a tailored approach customized according to the specific needs of each individual company. We will help with all stages of your product development and commercialization lifecycle, from working with raw materials right the way through to performance testing, claim support, and packaging.

If you want to find out more about our expertise, simply get in touch today.

Zheng Hu
Global Technical Manager
Cosmetics & Hygiene
t: +49 (0) 179 687 9102