IF YOUR COMPANY is marketing a mineral sunscreen with SPF 30, you better be able to prove its level of protection. Not sure if a new ingredient in your reformulated anti-aging skin cream may
cause skin irritation? You better test it. These are just a couple of
scenarios in which testing service providers put your company on
solid footing in cosmetics categories rife with challenges. These days,
consumers and regulators—not to mention retailers and industry
watchdog groups—are much more concerned with what’s in a personal care, beauty or OTC product and if it does what it claims to do.
In May, for example, Consumer Reports released findings that
claimed many sunscreens on store shelves didn’t live up to the SPF
numbers touted on their packs. Of the 65 water-resistant lotions,
sprays, and sticks with SPF claims of 30 or higher that CR tested,
43% tested below their advertised sun protection level, with two
kids’ sunscreens with SPF 50 tested at just SPF 8. Mineral-based
sunscreens were far more likely to fall short of their promises, according to CR. The company found that 74% of the mineral sunscreens it tested did not meet their SPF claim.
Experts that Happi spoke with, including Marc J. Shaffer, presi-
“The combination of our two companies is highly strategic as it
dent of Clinical Research Laboratories, LLC, noted the uptick in
activity regarding SPF claims. His company recently expanded its
operation by acquiring Suncare Research Laboratories, a Winston-
Salem, NC provider of specialized testing in SPF, UVAPF, photo-
toxicity and photoallergenicity with a client base that includes
major sunscreen manufacturers in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia
and Australia, as well as start-up biotechnology firms and private
entrepreneurs. The deal included Suncare’s 4,000 sq. ft. facility near
the campus of Wake Forest University.
expands CRL’s geographic reach and materially increases panelist
pool access and clinical testing capacity,”said Shaffer.
Other providers are also expanding their sun care testing expertise and capabilities to meet the demand. IDEA Test says its solar
evaluation center in Lille, France (known as IDEA Sun) has two
study rooms for SPF, UVAPF determinations and water resistance
evaluation of sun care products. In addition, its clinical center in
Bangkok is dedicated to sun care tests on Asian panels.
But not only are traditional sun protection products un-
der the microscope these days, SPF claims in color cosmetics
can also be a concern for beauty companies—think pressed
By Christine Esposito • Associate Editor
With speed and accuracy, testing service providers enable companies to back up
their claims and stay in compliance with regulations.
Quantex Scientists analyzing sunscreens by HPLC