SGS Helps Cosmetics Industry Respond to Increase in Consumers Reporting Sensitive Skin

has developed the ‘Dermatological Tested: Skin Tolerance’ approval mark to help
cosmetic manufacturers demonstrate their products are kind to people’s skin.

to a 2019 study, 60% of consumers now report having sensitive skin. In a global
skincare market expected to grow by USD 45.58 billion by 2023, it is important
for manufacturers to be able to show their products won’t irritate sensitive
skin. Skin tolerance has become an important factor for consumers when choosing
a cosmetic or personal care product. A study in Germany found that 50% of consumers
felt skin tolerance was more important than price or brand name.

skin is, however, difficult to define. Consumers claim it but are they all
claiming the same thing? Symptoms can differ. Common indicators are inflammation,
itching, burning, stinging, tightness and dryness. To avoid buying the wrong products,
consumers want a simple way to know the product they buy won’t irritate their

Cosmetics sold within the European Union (EU) must conform to Regulation (EC) 1223/2009. In addition,
Regulation (EU) No 655/2013 sets out the common criteria for the
justification of claims relating to cosmetic products such as
tears”, “improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles”, “skin appears
smoother”, “Sun Protection Factor (SPF)”, and “48H efficacy”.

The criteria in Regulation (EU) No 655/2013 essentially say claims
must support informed decision-making and demonstrate:

  • Legal compliance
  • Truthfulness
  • Fairness
  • Honesty

should also be evidential support for these claims. In reality, best practice means
either experimental studies, consumer perception tests, published information,
or a combination of all these forms of evidence.

For claims
such as
“dermatologist/dermatologically tested” and/or “tolerated by
sensitive skin”, manufacturers can use the primary dermal irritation (PDI) test
or epicutaneous patch test. This can be performed on a wide variety of cosmetic
and personal care products, including skincare products.

test must be conducted on a minimum of 30 subjects and must be structured in a
way that accurately replicates the way the product is used. For example,
products that have longer exposure to skin are tested occlusively – a plaster
is affixed after the application to create a solid barrier. For rinse-off
products, a semi-occlusive test is performed – using air and water vapor permeable
tape. Negative and positive standard trials are run concurrently using water
and 0.5% SDS solution (sodium lauryl sulphate). After 24 hours, the plaster is
removed and a further 24 hours later a dermatologist examines the skin for

help manufacturers respond to consumer demands for products that demonstrate skin
tolerance, SGS developed the ‘Dermatologically Tested: Skin Tolerance’ approval
mark. Based on the PDI test, the approval mark is only awarded to products deemed to have “very good skin
tolerance” or “good skin tolerance”.

The test is available as either an occlusive and
semi-occlusive test, depending on the product, with the mark being awarded after
the results are considered against the “dermatologically tested”
evaluation criteria in the EU publication “Technical Document on Cosmetic
Claims”. A wide range of products can receive the mark, including creams,
shower gels, shampoos, perfumes and bath balls.

To learn more about the ‘Dermatologically
Tested: Skin Tolerance
’ mark.

SGS Cosmetics &
Personal Care Testing Services

SGS provides testing, inspection, auditing and
consulting services to manufacturers, distributors and importers to ensure a
high level of product quality in every area. A global network of
state-of-the-art laboratories offer custom-made solutions for chemical,
biophysical, microbiological, stability and biological aspects. Learn more
about SGS’s
& Personal Care Testing

For more information, please contact:

Hubert Brundu

Global Technical Manager

Tel: +33 442616491



LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection,
verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the
global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 97,000 employees,
SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

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