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Challenge Test Cosmetics

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The test performed to determine the effectiveness of preservatives in cosmetic products is called "challenge test" (preservative effectiveness test). This test is carried out to test the effectiveness of preservatives. Challenge Test is an important test applied to cosmetic products. Preservative systems are used in many cosmetic products to ensure that the product is microbially safe. The preservatives used for this purpose must maintain their properties throughout the shelf life of the product. In addition to the microbiological analysis of cosmetic products being satisfactory, the protective effectiveness test must also be reasonable.

The preservative used in the product formula must have antimicrobial protective activity. Challenge test is one of the tests performed to show that the cosmetic product is microbially safe throughout the specified shelf life.

How to Perform a Challenge Test?

Testing the protective effectiveness of cosmetic products is extremely important to ensure the safety and quality of the products. Some of the common methods used to test preservative effectiveness in cosmetic products are as follows:

Microbial Analyzes: Microbial analyzes are performed to determine the presence and amount of microorganisms in cosmetic products. These analyzes are used to determine the number and diversity of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and mold found in products. The microbial load of products is considered an important indicator to evaluate the protective effectiveness of the product.

Shingles Inhibition Test: This test is used to determine the ability of preservatives found in cosmetic products to inhibit microorganisms. In the test, the product is applied to a culture of microorganisms spread on agar. Then, it is evaluated whether the growth of microorganisms is inhibited by looking at the area formed around the product.

Preservation Effectiveness Test: Water and other ingredients in cosmetic products can provide a suitable environment for the growth of bacteria, mold and other microorganisms. Therefore, products need to be treated with preservatives and the effectiveness of these preservatives tested. Preservation effectiveness tests help determine how resistant products are to microbial contamination.

Tests for conservation effectiveness may include the following steps:

Microorganism Selection: It is important to select appropriate microorganisms for the test. This often depends on the products' intended use and ingredients.

Contamination: The product is contaminated with specified microorganisms.

Incubation: The contaminated product is maintained under appropriate temperature and humidity conditions for a certain period of time.

Sampling: At the end of the incubation period, samples are taken to examine the presence and proliferation of microorganisms.

Evaluation: The presence and proliferation of microorganisms in samples are used to evaluate the conservation effectiveness of the product. If there is an effective preservative, the growth rate of microorganisms should be low.

Eye Irritation Test: Some preservatives can cause eye irritation. Therefore, eye irritation tests are performed to determine whether preservatives used in cosmetic products cause eye irritation. These tests can be performed on humans or animals and use standardized methods to determine whether the product causes eye irritation.

These tests are important to ensure the safety and quality of cosmetic products. It is necessary for the products to pass these tests to gain the trust of the users and prevent possible risks.

Protective Efficacy Test in Cosmetics

Protective Effectiveness Test (Challenge Test) is based on an artificial contamination created on the samples under laboratory conditions and the numerical data obtained regarding this contamination.

The result of the test is determined by logarithmically evaluating the number of microorganisms in the artificially contaminated product at certain time intervals such as the 2nd, 7th, 14th and 28th days.

The process is started by inoculating the product with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans and Aspergillus brasiliensis (Aspergillus niger) microorganisms and a number of microorganisms in accordance with the reference methods under laboratory conditions.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC®9027

Staphylococcus aureus ATCC®6538

Escherichia coli ATCC®8739

Candida albicans ATCC®10231

Aspergillus brasiliensis (A. niger) ATCC®16404

Which Products is Challenge Test Applied to?

Challenge testing is usually done on cosmetics and personal care products. Preservative effectiveness tests are important because these products contain water and provide a suitable environment to support microorganism growth. Some cosmetic and personal care products for which protective effectiveness testing was performed are as follows:

Skin Care Products: Protective effectiveness testing is performed on skin care products such as moisturizers, sunscreen, facial cleansing foams, tonics, serums and skin masks. Since most of these products are water-based, they provide a suitable environment for the growth of microorganisms.

Hair Care Products: Hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners and hair masks are also tested for protective effectiveness. The water in these products can create a suitable environment for the growth of microorganisms.

Make-up Products: Make-up products such as foundations, powders, eye shadows and lipsticks can also be tested for protective effectiveness. Some of these products may have water-based formulas and must be protected against microorganism contamination.

Oral Care Products: Challange test can also be applied on oral care products such as toothpastes, mouthwashes and toothbrushes. It is important that these products prevent microorganism contamination inside and outside the mouth.

Body Cleansing Products: Challange can be applied on body cleaning products such as soaps, shower gels, body lotions and deodorants. Since these products are used on the body, it is important that they prevent microorganism contamination.

In short, most cosmetic and personal care products require preservative effectiveness testing. These tests are important to ensure the safety and quality of products and are necessary to protect the health of users.

Saniter can perform “Challenge Test” analysis according to European standards upon your request.

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