The Ocular Irritation Test, much like the Dermal Irritation Test, uses a 3-dimensional model of eye tissue to determine the potential of a cosmetic product or ingredient to cause eye irritation when used by the consumer. Just as some cosmetic products can cause irritation to the skin, they can cause similar effects to the eye area. The 3D model used in the ocular irritation test closely resembles the corneal mucosa of the human eye in many ways including morphology, thickness and ocular secretions. For this reason, this in vitro model is an excellent substitute for in vivo eye irritation tests to determine ocular irritation potential.
When is Ocular Irritation Testing Necessary?
For obvious reasons, it is necessary to conduct this test on cosmetic and personal care products made for use in or around the eye area. However, there is also potential for products that are not specifically made for the eye area to get in the consumers eyes. For example, consumers may apply a product such as lotion to their bodies using their hands. They might then touch their face in or around the eye area prior to washing their hands. It will be important to know how that product will affect their eyes as well so warning labels can be made appropriately.