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Microbiology Testing for Cosmetics 

Microbial testing for cosmetics and personal care products is crucial to ensure their safety for users. Cosmetic testing aims to assess the quality of cosmetics and personal care products to comply with regulatory requirements before their release in the market.

Microbial testing for cosmetics includes Preservative Efficacy Test also known as Challenge Test and Microbial Limits Test.

Preservative Efficacy Test / Challenge Test for cosmetics –

Cosmetic products do not need to be sterile, but the preservatives added in cosmetic products must be capable of inhibiting the growth of harmful microorganisms, ensuring the safety of consumers, and increasing the shelf life of the product. However, preservatives sometimes fail to hinder microbial proliferation.

Preservative efficacy testing is done to ensure that microbial growth is controlled throughout the shelf life of the product by the chosen preservatives. In this test, product samples are challenged with a higher number of microbes to assess how well a formulation can withstand microbial contamination during storage and practical usage.

Microbial Limits Tests – 

Microbial Limits Tests are used to determine the number of viable microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi present in non-sterile products like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. This test ensures that the microbial load within a product falls within acceptable parameters, ensuring that the product meets stringent safety criteria.

Cosmetic & Personal Care Testing Methods performed at MIS

ISO standards for the cosmetic industry

  • ISO 16212: 2017 – Enumeration of yeast and mold
  • ISO 21149: 2017 – Enumeration and detection of aerobic mesophilic bacteria
  • ISO 18416: 2015 – Detection of Candida albicans
  • ISO 22718: 2015 – Detection of Staphylococcus aureus
  • ISO 22717: 2015 – Detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • ISO 21150: 2015 – Detection of Escherichia coli
  • ISO 21322: 2020 – Testing of impregnated or coated wipes and masks
  • ISO 14730: 2000 – Antimicrobial preservative efficacy testing and guidance on determining discard date
  • ISO 11930: 2019 – Evaluation of the antimicrobial protection of a cosmetic product
  • ISO 18415: 2017 – Detection of specified and non-specified microorganisms

Personal Care Products Council (PCPC Test) formerly CTFA for cosmetics and personal care products

  • PCPC M-1 – Determination of the Microbial Content of Cosmetic Products
  • PCPC M-2 – Examination for Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • PCPC M-3 – Preservation Testing of Water-Miscible Personal Care Products
  • PCPC M-4 – Preservation Testing of Eye Area Cosmetics
  • PCPC M-5 – Preservation Testing of Nonwoven Substrate Personal Care Products
  • PCPC M-6 – Preservation Testing of Atypical Personal Care Products
  • PCPC M-7 – Preservation Testing of Water-Miscible Personal Care Products

For more information read our page about PCPC Test Methods.

USP standards for cosmetic testing

  • USP 51 –  Preservative Efficacy Test
  • USP 61 – Microbial Enumeration Test
  • USP 62 – Test For Objectionable Microorganisms

Why Do We Need to Conduct Microbiology for Cosmetic Products?

Cosmetic products are at risk of being contaminated by microbes due to several factors, such as poor manufacturing practices, storage conditions, and the quality of raw ingredients used in the production process. It is essential to identify and address these factors to maintain the safety, quality, and shelf life of the products.

Microbial testing is crucial for cosmetics and personal care products as it plays a pivotal role in identifying and assessing potential contaminants that can compromise the overall safety and effectiveness of these products. The use of microbially contaminated products can lead to serious concerns such as skin allergies, irritations, bloodstream infections, and other health issues.

Therefore, microbial testing is essential to ensure that cosmetic products meet the highest standards for safety and quality.

Examples of Cosmetic Products Tested at MIS

At MIS, we provide a comprehensive range of microbial testing services specifically designed for the cosmetic and personal care products industries. Our testing facilities can test a wide range of cosmetic products, including but not limited to:

Hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners, serums, gels, hair sprays, and more.

Skin care products include moisturizers, creams, lotions, under-eye creams, sunscreens, face wash, serums, shower gels, and more.

Beauty products such as lipsticks, lip balms, foundations, CC creams, eye makeup products, and more.

Why trust MIS with your Cosmetic Product Testing?

At MIS, our testing facilities are well-equipped with cutting-edge technology, enabling us to conduct meticulous microbiology testing for a diverse range of cosmetics and personal care products. We perform detailed evaluations on ingredients, semi-manufactured, and final products at different stages of development.

We are committed to delivering accurate and high-quality test results to our customers, offering invaluable support for developing premium quality products. and provide vital support for high-quality product development.

To know more about our microbiology testing services for cosmetics, please contact our experts here.

Get your product tested now

✓  Completed test order form (TOS)
✓  Customization and Assistance to determine the right test for your project
✓  FAST TRACK Program with less Turnaround Time

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