The COSMEBAC laboratory covers the entire technical scope necessary for the microbiological evaluation of cosmetic products. The diverse and complex nature of the cosmetics industry requires specific experience and in response to this COSMEBAC has developed its own diverse service offer on the basis of the support it has been providing to the industry’s professionals for the past 30 years.
The technical offer
Our technical microbiological services are divided into three sections:
- Quality control
- Challenge tests or anti-microbial performance tests
- Identification/classification of detected contaminants
An alternative vision of microbiology
Unfortunately microbiology is often associated with an outdated technical approach. The detection/enumeration of Colony Forming Units (CFU) obviously remains the traditional approach with a high potential for standardisation. But other alternative solutions exist which are just waiting to be used!
For a long time, the COSMEBAC laboratory has associated the long-standing traditional approach with other more precise and rapid analysis strategies.
Quality control checks can now be set up that will provide results within 24 hours, these use flow cytometry (D-COUNT®). Anti-microbial performance studies can now be performed using a screening approach thanks to bioLumix® technology. The time necessary to publish the full results has now been reduced from 33 to 16 days, as of the start of the study.
Cosmetics: a complex market requiring complete solutions
New consumer expectations, constant research into innovative products, restrictions placed on preservatives.... these are all factors in a dynamic and constantly evolving environment calling out for a specific testing approach which moves on from the usual and standardised methods.
COSMEBAC’s extensive experience means that it can assist you in designing and implementing bespoke studies ensuring the most appropriate and safe approach to assessing microbiological risks.
A dedicated client Web-space
COSMEBAC’s service objectives also involve using appropriate communication tools! Alongside a production capacity permitting highly reactive study initiations, the COSMEBAC laboratory also uses an ERP system which has a facility for the real-time communication of analysis results.
Consequently our clients receive their results as they are read in the laboratory, with no latency. Consulting this data via our Web space also authorises complex statistical analysis of the test data (numerous data filters) based on historic data (all test results are archived and accessible with no time restriction).
Challenge tests are the cornerstones of microbiological risk assessment for the development of cosmetic formulae. It is also a regulatory obligation.
However certain types of cosmetic products are exempt from this obligation. Their own specific properties in themselves imply an auto-protection from any microbiological contaminations which may occur during the consumer’s use of the product.
For cosmetic formulae that are part of the “common scope”, the challenge test allows you to guarantee the safety of your consumers by minimising the risk of potentially dangerous microbiological contaminations.
- The technical model of the challenge test is often criticised since it is seen as being too far from the realities of real-world consumer use.
THIS IS TRUE! However this is an obligatory test and the industry can draw on a significant capital of background data. So this makes it a powerful test thanks to the comparisons that can be made with past data.
- Only a single challenge test needs to be included in the PID (Product Information Documentation) to comply with the legislation
THIS IS TRUE…but the situation is too fragile. Cosmetic product usage habits, their life-cycles, new relatively unproven and/or unstable preservative solutions require the use of a more mature approach. The association with challenge tests on aged formulae (either under accelerated or real-time conditions), on formulae damaged by preservatives or on industrial pilot products for example, are becoming the norm.
- Challenge tests must also cover industrial pollutants
THIS IS BOTH TRUE & FALSE. In recent years, the industry has been confronted by a resurgence in industrial pollutant factors. The reason for this is quite simple: a combination of the latest generations of cosmetic formulae that are all “low in anti-microbial molecules” with less effective industrial sanitation products; and this is leading to an increasing number of microbiological incidents during production. However we have to keep clear heads: the challenge test serves to protect the consumer in terms of contamination factors, not to facilitate the market release of industrial production batches. Evidently challenge tests covering specific natural strains can assist in the formulation; however this strategy is technically fragile and not always predictive.