Test it until it’s perfect
There are many stages in the development of each new skincare product. Getting the perfect formula is just one step in the process. In the final stage, we test the product multiple ways before launching it. There are several tests that are being run on each product to ensure their safety, quality, efficacy, and packaging compatibility.
Here are just a few of the many types of tests we do.
Skin challenge tests are performed to determine the skin's reaction to a particular product or ingredient. This helps to identify potential skin sensitivities, allergies, or irritations.
The human repeat insult patch test (HRIPT) is the standard safety test in the personal care industry. This clinical study typically involves a series of 24 or 48-hour exposures over a three-week period to a group of 50-200 volunteers. After a 2-week break, another exposure is made. Any skin reactions or sensitivity is recorded and evaluated by a dermatologist to confirm product safety. If successful, the product can be deemed 'safe for sensitive skin'.
Preservative efficacy testing, also known as challenge testing, is a method used to determine the effectiveness of preservatives in cosmetic and personal care products.
In this test, a specific strain of bacteria, yeast, or mold is introduced into a product.The preservative's ability to prevent the growth of microorganisms over the duration of the test is then assessed. By the end of the test, the growth should be below the country or region’s governing body deems safe. The exact strains tested against or the test method used is determined by the intended target market, as each country has their own set of requirements. The results of the test help manufacturers determine the appropriate amount of preservative to use in their products to ensure that they remain safe and free of harmful microorganisms over their intended shelf life. Although this is the less glamorous-sounding side of skincare, it’s an essential step in ensuring products remain free of harmful bacteria and side effects.
Natural products may contain natural preservatives such as essential oils, but they still need to be tested for their effectiveness in preserving the product. The process of preservative efficacy testing is the same for both natural and synthetic products, but the types of preservatives used can be different. At Veriphy, we use 1% of a broad-spectrum preservative that prevents and kills bacteria, yeasts, and mold, to ensure our customers are always protected.
Accelerated shelf-life and compatibility testing measure the stability of the product. These tests involve storing the product under elevated temperatures over a longer period of time, to simulate the effects of long-term storage and measure the preservative's effectiveness over time. Stability tests the formula in an inert component (such as glass) whereas the compatibility tests the formula in the final desired packaging (which could involve additional packing, such as straws or pumps).
Finally, another test we do on the products is called a "Freeze-Thaw" Test - this test challenges the formula for cold and hot scenarios (e.g if it's delivered in the winter and sits in the snow on your doorstep or in the summer during extreme heat). We freeze the formula for 24h, let it thaw for 24h, heat it up in a 40C oven for 24h, then finally let it rest at room temperature for another 24h to see how it performs. This process is repeated for 3 cycles and measured to see how the formula holds up. All of our products are required to pass this test and have.
In summary, your formula is only as good as your testing. You want to ensure that the products you are using, even the clean ones, have been put through the proper tests. Safety and transparency are essential for your skincare.