Cosmetics and personal care products are perfect environments for microorganisms to grow unless proper measures are taken during formulation and manufacture to preserve them. Cosmetics and personal care products are intended for use in direct contact with the body and this makes it imperative for these products to be free of harmful contamination and prepared with effective preservative systems. Microbial content tests are designed to determine the contamination levels in the products and preservative challenge testing is designed to verify the ability of cosmetics to avoid microbial growth upon contamination that may be introduced during manufacturing or through normal consumer use.
The Personal Care Products Council (formerly Cosmetics, Toiletries, and Fragrance Association – CTFA) has set forth guidelines specific testing of cosmetic and personal care product manufacturers to aid in determining the microbial content and the effectiveness of the preservative system of many different types of cosmetic products.
Cosmetic Test Labs offers microbial examination and challenge testing following these CTFA guidelines:
- 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 – A Method for Preservation Testing of Water-Miscible Personal Care Products
- PCPC M-4 – Method for Preservation Testing of Eye Area Cosmetics
- PCPC M-5 – Methods for Preservation Testing of Nonwoven Substrate Personal Care Products
- PCPC M-6 – A Method for Preservation Testing of Atypical Personal Care Products
- PCPC M-7 – A Rapid Method for Preservation Testing of Water-Miscible Personal Care Products