“A solid methodology for conducting these studies ensures your claims are powerful as well as compliant with advertising and marketing regulations for cosmetics and personal care products,” she told Happi. “Claims studies conducted by an independent third-party research firm offers consumers proof—driving the beauty and personal care consumer to buy and become loyal product evangelists. Claims offer consumers the ability to differentiate products by speed of performance and level of efficacy.”
Consumer use studies are also important for another reason—avoiding potential multi-million dollar mistakes, added Stansbury.
“For newer brands just getting ready to enter the marketplace, and for established brands launching a new SKU, insights derived from these tests can help stave off expensive formula choices that might prevent products from ‘wowing’ consumers. Consumer product testing can also identify halo claims or help shed light on why a once-hot SKU has cooled, and how to reignite the consumer love,” said Stansbury.
Properly-worded claims are important for regulatory compliance and risk mitigation. The biggest, if not the most important reason to conduct a beauty product test is to mitigate the legal and regulatory issues of improperly worded claims, she added. More and more, brands are coming under fire for claiming benefits of their products, their ingredients, and their formulas which are drawing scrutiny—and fines—from the FDA and FTC.
All in all—great consumer claims sell products! Leaders in today’s testing services sector took time to chat with Happi about the latest developments in the industry.
Happi: Has your company invested in new equipment/space/services for household or personal care testing? Please tell us about those enhancements.
Barrie Drewitt, technical director, Princeton Consumer Research Corp, St. Petersburg, FL: Over the past 12 months, PCR has brought a new site into the fold, now offer clients the most diverse geographical population currently available by any other consumer product testing company in the world. PCR offers locations in Princeton, NJ; St. Petersburg, FL; Winnipeg, Canada; Manchester, England and Essex, England.
No other consumer product testing company can offer multiple testing locations with the technical ability that PCR can offer. PCR has some of the most advanced equipment for looking at fine lines and wrinkles, SPF values of products. We have five environmentally controlled rooms, too! We have recently added a variety of equipment to our lists at all sites, including: Courage & Khazaka’s Sebumeter, Corneometer, Tewameter, Mexameter, Skin-pH-Meter and Cutometer; Nova Dermal Phase Meter, AquaFlux TEWL; SkiCon, IBS; Solar Simulator, Solar Light Co.; Laser Doppler Blood Flow Monitor, Moor Instruments; HiScope Fiber Optic Microscope, Hirox; Canfield Scientific’s exclusive RBX Technology, Visia-CR; Spectrophotometer CM-600D, Konica Minolta; Whole Face Imaging, REPLICA: Silflo; D-Squame, cured; Eotech 3D Digitalization, Eotech; Episcan, Longport Inc; Clarity Pro, BTBP and the Intellilab imaging system from Canfield.
W. Richard Ulmer, president and CEO, InVitro International, Placentia, CA: Our website is the only enhanced area this year and we’re doing that in spades right now. Make sure to check it out at www.invitrointl.com.
Pascal Yvon, PharmD, MBA, head of US business development, IDEA Tests Group, France (Bordeaux): Regarding in vitro testing, the IDEA Tests Group has invested heavily in its immunotoxicology department for in vitro sensitization tests: DPRA, KeratinoSens, h-CLAT, and very recently SENS-IS. Due to those investments, IDEA Tests is able to help customers establish the right testing strategy whatever the type of sample is, and in combination with the other toxicological tests. Moreover, IDEA Tests has just built a brand new in vitro sunscreen lab, equipped with Solarlight LS-1000 sun simulator and Labsphere UV-2000 spectrometer. Regarding clinical efficacy testing, IDEA Tests invests constantly in new iconography materials to stay always at the cutting edge of technology for image analysis. IDEA Tests has also developed new in vivo and in vitro anti-pollution protocols.
Lastly, there is a continuous investment in IT tools/web services, including a secured and multi-site computer network that enables the setting up of volunteer panels in real time; a web service allowing customers to view the progress of their tests online (history, schedule) and to download all study reports; and a proprietary regulatory database containing the toxicological profile of 21,000 ingredients, supplemented daily, which is a real interface for ingredients, raw materials, and formulas allowing the calculation of the MoS and obtaining real-time toxicological data and alerts on ingredients under discussion/restricted/prohibited.
Craig R. Weiss, president, Consumer Product Testing Company, Inc., Fairfield, NJ: CPTC is currently building a new bio-instrumentation suite, our fourth for housing our PRIMOS, VISIA-CR, clinical photography studio and additional measurement devices. This area will also contain a section for focus groups, which is a service we will be reprising from our previous portfolio of testing services.
Lenore Coyle, vice president, business development, Clinical Research Laboratories, LLC, Piscataway, NJ: CRL recently designed and built a consumer science room at our facility in Piscataway, NJ. The room is equipped with state-of-the-art video and audio equipment and includes a client viewing area to monitor panelists while testing is in progress. It can accommodate up to 20 subjects for focus groups and sensory testing. We also now offer cosmetic stability testing, which will provide added convenience to our clients by using a single lab for stability, safety and efficacy testing. In January we launched a new lab in Austin, Texas called Vivo Clinical Testing, which specializes in clinical testing of topical antimicrobial products, such as hand sanitizers and antimicrobial hand washes.
Happi: What were the main service requests/jobs your company received during the past year in terms of personal care care/cosmetics testing? Is this different in any way? If so, how so and what do you think is behind it?
Drewitt: Over the past year, our business has doubled in the US. We have seen a large number of anti-wrinkle studies, SPF is huge and RIPTs seem to be increasing! The biggest area of growth for PCR has been in antiperspirant and deodorant trials. Three of the companies controlled rooms are booked out until the end of March 2018 now because of confirmed studies and our deo graders are in such demand that they are flying all over the world to work for clients!
Ullmer: The main cosmetic/personal care products eye/skin irritation testing service requests in the past 12 months are essentially the same sorts of requests as in prior years. The main difference we see is in the area of requests for “expedited” test results. The reasons given for faster results are often related to new product introduction schedules, and frequently when considering alternate formulations (colors/shades/bases/concentrations) comfort can help reach a final decision faster, or a QVC commitment date coming on fast. Because our irritation test results can be available in as few as 48 hours, 30+ year old Irritection testing is a favorite choice.
Yvon: Over the past years, IDEA Tests has seen an increasing demand of “new” tests and more “classical” tests. Regarding the “new tests,” we can mention particularly anti-pollution tests, microbiome protection assessment and sensitization evaluation. Behind it, there are undoubtedly the response to the public health issues, increasingly affecting the world of cosmetics.
Regarding the more “classical” tests, IDEA Tests has been experiencing year after year a growing demand for tolerance tests and basic efficacy tests due to the excellent value for money offered by the group.
Weiss: There have been many innovative new product lines and devices, which we have been asked to test. It is an exciting time for innovation worldwide, and as a global leader in testing, we work closely with those companies to develop protocols and testing schedules which meet the ultimate goal of our clients. There is also an increase in the standard safety testing which every ethical personal care/cosmetic manufacturer wants in their safety portfolio.
Coyle: Product safety testing has always been at the core of our business. We are experiencing more frequent requests for those tests (RIPT, safety in use, ophthalmological testing, SPF) than ever before. We now offer 100 person shared RIPT panels weekly to meet client needs. The personal care category continues to grow, but innovative products appear to be driving more extensive safety testing as well as more customized efficacy testing. Some examples include products that have a time-release component for key ingredients and multi-step products that are mixed by the consumer before being applied to the skin. We are also seeing a notable increase in demand for sophisticated claims tests that utilize our high-end bioinstrumentation capabilities such as our Clarity Pro 3D facial imaging system.
Happi: How do testing services and labs help the marketer? How about the consumer?
Drewitt: Testing services help to prove the efficacy of a product and helps to promote confidence to the consumer. Consumers are becoming much more aware these days about their products and they demand that their product choice is safe and does what it says on the tin!
Ulmer: When we do irritation testing for our customers, we provide test results that have 30 years of market acceptance behind us; that means time proven accuracy which combines nicely with speed (every test result is a maximum 5-7 days away), and the cost for our services is the lowest we know of in the industry. Repeat business is a staple at InVitro International. We satisfy customers again and again.
With regard to satisfying consumers, our Irritection test results play the important part of predicting a potential irritation from a skin or eye care product before it ever reaches human skin or ocular tissue. So even if market testing involves human trial, Irritection testing represents safety testing to the consumer’s benefit.
Yvon: Testing labs help the marketer in different ways. The marketer launches new appealing products but s/he also works hard for the consumer trust and loyalty. In addition to sexy claims, the consumer’s feeling about the product’s safety and quality is key in the re-purchasing act. Hence the special care to be taken with use tests, as well as tolerance tests.
It is also critical for the marketer to be particularly vigilant in choosing his CRO, as counter-tests carried out by consumer press or consumer media can have catastrophic effects. For example, a French magazine dedicated to consumers has recently tested a number of sun care products on the market and questioned the truthfulness of the SPF of some of them, which of course had disastrous consequences for the brands.
Weiss: The marketer has a responsibility not to promote frivolous or false claims. We work with both development and marketing professionals, who understand what their responsibility is, and recommend innovative clinical trials to assist them in their ultimate goal. CPTC has a responsibility to the ultimate end user—the consumer. It is part of our mission to only generate ethical data so that our client can produce a product, that they can confidently sell to the consumer, and be sure of the claims associated with that product.
Coyle: A broad range of tests are necessary for marketers to build each product’s safety and claims profile and ultimately determine if and when a product can be sold, where it can be sold and what information can be printed on the product label. Consumers benefit from third-party testing by gaining confidence that the claims listed on the product label have been tested for using validated methodologies ensuring that the product is both safe and efficacious.
Happi: What do claims do to make or break a product’s performance in the marketplace?
Drewitt: As consumers become more aware of what products are capable of doing for their quality of life, the demand for better products grows more and more. If product ranges don’t adapt and grow in line with the demand, the product will be replaced by more exciting, novel products that are claiming to perform better than the competitor products! Claims are one of the biggest selling tools for your products now!
Ulmer: Product performance claims represent consumer benefits from using a product. So if a product delivers what it promises on its label, and the buyer wants that benefit… they will buy it again. Brand loyalty is to the product that does what the consumer wants, and does it every time. That means consumer satisfaction, brand loyalty follows, and sales/profits are recorded.
Yvon: Very often, new types of claims play the role of breaking innovations, and so help a product to perform in the marketplace, or a new segment of products to emerge. A typical example is the endocrine disruptors matter: The manufacturer which, in collaboration with its CRO, will be the first on the market to bring out the “non-endocrine disrupting” claim will bring a real innovation to the marketplace, and will likely be followed by many others, and then be at the origin of a new market segment.
Weiss: Claims are used for inform the consumer of a products benefits. In today’s competitive market, claims are necessary to differentiate your product. Unfortunately, claims can be a double-edged sword, with the increase in consumer protection laws and class action lawsuits, the necessity for reputable claim support testing has never been greater.
Coyle: A product’s claim package is critically important, as claims are the most direct way that a marketer communicates product benefits to consumers. In CRL’s view, consumers are more scientifically minded than ever before. Accordingly, strong claims based on robust clinical studies are of increasing importance. We see effective claim building as a two-part process: First, thorough, focused market research to determine what the consumer is seeking in a product. These product attributes change over time, demographics, region and socioeconomic status. Secondly, robust clinical testing to evaluate the extent to which the product meets consumer needs. When the process is complete, companies draw the consumer in toward their products while differentiating them from other seemingly similar products.
Happi: What’s on the regulatory front here in the US or globally that is on your radar screen—and why—and what impact might it have on your customers in 2017-2018?
Drewitt: The European Cosmetic directives are changing all the time. Clinics in the US with global products are coming to us with concerns about the fast-changing regulations and directives all the time. One of the biggest concerns is with claims around hypoallergenic. As most people know, the FDA don’t even recognize this claim, in Europe, it helps sell products and consumers like the meaning behind the word, which is why cosmetic companies continue to use it on their products. For years, a simple HRIPT with 100 subjects would work to substantiate the claim, this does not hold the claim up alone anymore and there are many new add-ons that are needed in the product documents to help establish this claim! Many companies are not aware of this, including many of our competition who continue to only offer HRIPT as a way of substantiation for this claim.
Ulmer: The last year has seen countries as large as India and as small as Taiwan ban the use of animals in testing for cosmetics and even more broadly in some places. Globally, there is a definite trend toward fewer animals being used in tests, period. In the US, our regulatory activity has lagged due mainly to industry lobbying. We still do not care enough as a population to demand that our legislators pass the same legislation that exists in all of Europe, and in many other major markets around the world. Animal welfare, despite the best efforts of PETA, the Doris Day Animal League, the Humane Society, and others in the US does not accomplish government regulation forcing manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products to replace animal tests with in vitro tests. Perhaps 2018 will be the year when the US will earn some worldwide respect and show compassion for animals by forcing replacement of unnecessary animal testing with globally-approved non-animal tests. Such legislative support will help the few in vitro test method developers bring even more such tests to market sooner.
Yvon: We can notice differences between the USA and other countries regarding prohibited and restricted ingredients, particularly color additives, or the very restrictive list of UVA sunscreens, imposed by the FDA in the USA, which limits the possible scope of the formulator. With a global development strategy, the challenge is to take into account, the regulatory requirements of the different marketing zones concerned as early as possible in the development process, in order for the product to comply with the regulations of each zone at the formulation stage. Worldwide, sensitization is more than ever a hot topic and endocrine disruptors are also in the spotlight from a regulatory perspective. We also notice a more global ban on animal testing for cosmetics (recently the Australian department of health also announced its plan for the ban) with consequently an increase in the use of alternative in vitro methods.
Weiss: In the US, we have one bill in the house and one bill in the senate and more to follow to better regulate the personal care industry. Additionally, there is a movement to modernize the OTC process, which would change SPF testing. Increased regulation will bring many changes for personal care companies. In Europe, we are not sure what Brexit will bring. In China we are waiting for CSAR to be acted upon, until we see what changes that will bring, it is impossible to estimate how that will affect the industry.
Coyle: In the US, FDA continues to show interest in more active regulation of the personal care market while industry continues to self-regulate fairly well. With some of the recent high-profile problems with sunscreen products, CRL expects FDA’s to increase its scrutiny of this particular category. On the formulation side, pressure to adopt more natural and less effective preservative systems, coupled with an influx of smaller players to the market appear to be increasing the rate of product recalls due to microbial contamination. We expect FDA to become more active in the communication and management of recall events for cosmetics as they increase in frequency. Globally, the EU continues to heavily regulate cosmetics, which increases the value of large CROs like CRL, capable of compliance with global standards.
The Clinical Testing area is such an interesting part of the cosmetics and personal care industry. As companies develop more ways to serve the consumer to enhance and beautify themselves through the use of topical products, the testing arena broadens and we are constantly challenged to develop new and innovative methods for testing product claims.
Below is a list of testing providers serving the household and personal products industry. For more information, contact the testing service provider using the information provided for each firm. Should your company be listed here? Contact Happi to be included in our next testing services directory. Email: email@example.com
Alliance Technologies, LLC
Monmouth Junction, NJ
Tel: (877) 962-5993
Fax: (732) 438-8265
Testing Specialties: Alliance Technologies is a full service, DEA licensed, and FDA registered and audited contract laboratory offering a wide range of chemical analysis and material testing services to a diverse, international client base. Our expertise and years of experience enable us to select the correct analytical approaches and generate the accurate data needed to solve your toughest problem.
AMA Laboratories, Inc.
New City, NY
Tel: (845) 634-4330
Fax: (845) 634-5565
Testing Specialties: AMA Laboratories conducts state-of-the-art testing in RIPT/Safety, Infrared Testing (IRPF), SPF Determinations, Claim Substantiation with Biophysical Measurements, In-Vitro Studies and unique Matched Scientific Photography (MSP) using AMA’s PhotoGrammetrix (PhGx) System. Advanced studies can enhance documented final report data with our PolyChrommetrix (PcMx) 3D modeling plus corporate and advertising video capabilities. The AMA system offers a newly developed proprietary concept of scientifically acquired, non-invasive “before and after” images which can be electronically measured. Due to the overwhelming demand for its SPF services, AMA has acquired additional state-of-the-art Multiport Solar Simulators modified to expedite PPD and SPF studies, engineered and installed fully automated water immersion tanks for rapid water resistant claims. According to the company, it has also expanded the In-Vitro Department to accommodate additional IR, HEV High energy Visible and also Blue Light Testing, available immediately.
Middleboro, MA 02346
Tel: (508) 946-6200
Fax: (508) 946-6262
BioScreen Testing Services, Inc.
Tel: (310) 214-0043
Fax: (310) 370-3642
Testing Specialties: BioScreen Testing Services is a full service, GMP, human clinical, microbiology and analytical chemistry testing laboratory. BioScreen’s clinical services division conducts product safety and efficacy claim studies using a complete array of scientific instrumentation. The company also has sophisticated image capture and analysis software to provide the highest level of scientific image claim support. BioScreen’s clinical services include safety tests for irritation and sensitivity (HRIPT) on the skin and complete ophthalmologic safety tests. BioScreen specializes in customized studies to support product claims from moisturization, anti-aging, SPF and acne, to specialized scar, cellulite, esthetic and eyelash studies. Also offered are Asian subject panels and consumer use studies. BioScreen offers a complete array of analytical chemistry to serve OTC/cosmetic clients from raw material ingredients, sunscreen assay and heavy metals to photo stability, stability, and toxicological assessments. Our microbiological department conducts a compliment of specialized micro studies and ID methods plus more routine preservative testing, microbial plate count, log reduction and bacteriostasis studies.
Bria Research Labs and Testing Services
Tel: (847) 918-1774
Fax: (847) 816-1830
Canfield Scientific, Inc.
Tel: (973) 434-1200 or (800) 815-4330
Celsis International – Now Part of Charles River
Tel: 877.CRIVER.1 (877-274-8371)
Ceutical Laboratories, Inc.
Farmers Branch, TX
Tel: (972) 241-8374
Fax: (972) 241-0619
Clinical Research Laboratories, LLC
Tel: (732) 981-1616
Fax: (732) 981-0520
Testing Specialties: Clinical Research Laboratories, LLC (CRL) operates as an independent contract laboratory providing a wide range of clinical safety and efficacy testing to the cosmetic, beauty products, personal care, and pharmaceutical industries. Located both in central New Jersey and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, CRL is dedicated to conducting human clinical test procedures to determine the safety and efficacy of cosmetic, personal care and OTC drug products. The company focuses its clinical expertise in the areas of dermatology, photobiology, ophthalmology, bioinstrumentation, microbiology, cosmetology, clinical trials and associated services.
Consumer Product Testing Company, Inc.
Tel: (973) 609-5747
Fax: (973) 253-4059
Testing Specialties: CPT has provided full GMP/GLP/GCP laboratory testing services for the cosmetic, personal care, medical device, pharmaceutical and specialty chemical markets. Our capabilities include services in the clinical, microbiology, to safety/efficacy/claims, analytical chemistry/stability, photobiology, in-vitro toxicological fields and consultation. CPT is committed to the ethical generation of data, which results in the introduction of reliable products to the marketplace. Our focus is to provide our clients support for the health and well-being of their customers. We are proud to offer responsible personal care, pharmaceutical and therapeutic product testing.
Dermatest Medical Research
Tel: (49) 251-481637-0
Fax: (49) 251-481637-66
San Diego, CA
Tel: (877) 709-9526
Essex Testing Clinic, Inc.
Tel: (973) 857-9541
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Don@essextesting.com
Testing Specialties: Human clinical evaluations performed for safety, efficacy and claims support of cosmetics, raw materials, toiletries, personal care, household, and dermal OTCs. With two facilities and a diverse subject base we specialize in a full range of tests, including but not limited to RIPT, SPF, In-Use, Anti-Aging, Patch, photosensitivity, Long Lasting, Waterproof, Comedogenicity, eye products, clinical and perception studies. Protocols developed for specific needs.
Montreal, QC, Canada
Tel: (514) 343-0001
Testing Specialties: Evalulab is a contract research laboratory offering customized and standard clinical testing services to evaluate the safety, performance and consumer preference of skin care, cosmetics, personal care products, medical devices and raw materials.
Tel: (844) 220-6231
Harrison Research Laboratories, Inc.
Tel: (908) 688-7600
Fax: (908) 688-7601
Hill Top Research Incorporated
St. Petersburg, FL
Tel: (727) 344-7602
IDEA Tests Group
Tel: FR: +33 556 64 82 33, US: (609) 705 3854
Contact: Pascal Yvon
Testing Specialties: IDEA Tests Group specializes in the evaluation of cosmetic and personal care products for both ingredients and final formulations. IDEA provides a holistic approach and a wide range of services: In vitro OECD toxicology, efficacy, and microbiology tests, clinical studies to assess tolerance and efficacy, regulatory expertise to support your specific situation, sun care product testing. With seven evaluation centers and local presence in the US, IDEA provides its services to customers all over the world.
Tel: (855) 427-6583
International Research Services, Inc.
Port Chester, NY
Tel: (914) 937-9483, (800) 548-0158
Placentia, CA 92870
Tel: (800) 246-8487, (949) 851-8356
Fax: (949) 851-4985
Testing Specialties: Least cost, fastest, validated as accurate: Ocular Irritection and Dermal Irritection. Final reports in as few as 36 hours; accuracy proven as high as 90+% vs animal results. More than a quarter century of satisfied customers with a published peer reviewed OECD study result available. GHS accepted Corrositex: least cost, fastest, and most accurate global leader in non-animal corrosion testing; results possible in 24 hours or less.
MB Research Laboratories
Tel: (215) 536-4110
Fax: (215) 536-1816
Testing Specialties: MB Research Labs has been dedicated to conducting cosmetic and personal care safety assessments for over 40 years. Our specialized services include, but are not limited to, in vitro dermal and eye irritation, dermal sensitization and phototoxicity. We are an award-winning recognized leader in the development and use of in vitro/alternative toxicology.
McCrone Associates, Inc.
Tel: (630) 887-7100
Micro Quality Labs Inc. (MQL Inc.)
Tel: (818) 845-0070
Fax: (818) 845-0030
Testing Services: Micro Quality Labs is an ISO 17025 certified lab, established in 2003 and offers a comprehensive range of contract testing services to the cosmetic, nutritional, pharmaceutical, OTC and household products industries. Services include analytical, stability testing (ICH guidelines), heavy metals, microbiology, method development and validation, environmental testing, water testing, pesticides/USP, 1,4 dioxane, amino acid testing and phthalates.
Princeton Consumer Research
Tel: (609) 455-1112
Fax: (609) 580-1393
Testing Specialties: Princeton Consumer Research is a global consumer product testing company specializing in safety, efficacy and acceptability studies. PCR focuses on the cosmetic, skin, beauty, personal care, and baby care industries. Their global headquarters in Princeton, NJ and their site in St. Petersburg, FL have the largest environmentally controlled rooms and hot rooms in the US. PCR also has two additional sites in the UK, and a site in Winnipeg, Canada. Plans include expansion to Asia and Brazil in 2018-2019.
Product Integrity Laboratory LLC
Tel: (973) 770-7707
Fax: (973) 770-7711
Technical Specialties: Product development and formulation, quality control and quality assurance, regulatory compliance, production troubleshooting.
Q Laboratories, Inc.
Tel: (513) 471-1300
Fax: (513) 471-5600
Testing Specialties: An FDA registered, cGMP/GLP compliant, ISO/IEC 17025 accredited analytical chemistry and microbiology laboratory. Services include: method development and validation, microbial detection and enumeration, microbial identification, active ingredient analysis, raw material qualification, antimicrobial efficacy analysis and stability studies.
Quality Assurance International
San Diego, CA
Tel: (858) 200-9708
Tel: (973) 575-5252
Fax: (973) 575-7175
Testing Specialties: It’s crucial for cosmetics and personal care products to be effective, stable and safe. SGS’ global quality assurance and performance services can help you ensure the quality, safety, efficacy and regulatory compliance of your products. Our laboratories and field operations offer tailor-made solutions to meet your chemical, physical, microbiological and claim support needs.
Solar Light Company, Inc.
Tel: (215) 517-8700
Fax: (215) 517-8747
Suncare Research Laboratories
Tel: (336) 725-6501
Fax: (336) 725-6503