Preservative Effectiveness and Challenge Tests


When customers purchase cosmetics \ toiletries, they should be of acceptable microbiological quality.  Our customers then turn chemists and add water, spit on in order to dilute, change colour etc.  These are extreme scenarios of course but events such as these are common and should be addressed.  Formulators therefore need to avoid bacteria laden products being applied onto peoples bodies, worst of all on people's eyes.  Note that Cosmetic \ Toiletry packs unlike pharmaceuticals or food, are used over a long period, if effective preservatives are not present, product will harbor millions of bacteria \ fungi.  Product preservation and preservation effectiveness \ challenge testing therefore, need to be undertaken by technical personnel, professionally educated and experienced in conducting such tests and capable of evaluating and interpreting test data.

Apart from waxy, alcoholic and nail varnish type products, all others must be proved to be adequately preserved.  If they are not they can be a health hazard.

CTFA, CTPA, B.P. and European Pharmacopoeias lay down test procedures and conditions.  Contact Us for further details.


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