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  • Writer's pictureMargarida Lindo

HRIPT vs Patch Test: What are the differences and benefits

In the realm of cosmetic products, ensuring safety and minimizing the risk of adverse reactions is paramount. Patch tests and Human Repeat Insult Patch Tests (HRIPT) are two essential tools employed to assess the potential impact of cosmetic ingredients on the skin. While both methods involve applying substances to the skin, they serve distinct purposes and play crucial roles in product safety evaluation.





Patch Test:

Patch tests are instrumental in diagnosing allergic contact dermatitis, a condition characterized by an allergic reaction to specific substances. Cosmetic manufacturers and dermatologists utilize patch tests to identify potential allergens in cosmetic formulations. During a patch test, small amounts of cosmetic products are applied to the skin under adhesive patches, typically on the back. After 48 hours, dermatologists or allergists examine the skin for signs of allergic reactions, such as redness, swelling, or itching. By pinpointing substances that trigger allergic responses, patch tests help manufacturers formulate safer products and empower consumers to make informed choices about skincare and cosmetics.


Human Repeat Insult Patch Test (HRIPT):

In contrast, HRIPTs are designed to assess the potential of cosmetic products to cause skin irritation or sensitization with repeated use. Given that consumers apply cosmetics daily or regularly, evaluating the cumulative effects of product ingredients is crucial for product safety. During an HRIPT, volunteers undergo repeated application of cosmetic formulations under occlusive patches for several weeks. This extended exposure period allows researchers to monitor the skin for any signs of irritation or sensitization. By simulating real-world usage conditions, HRIPTs provide valuable insights into the safety profile of cosmetic products over time, guiding formulation improvements and ensuring consumer well-being.


Importance for cosmetic claims:

Patch tests and HRIPTs are indispensable tools in the evaluation of cosmetic product safety. While patch tests focus on identifying allergens and potential triggers of allergic contact dermatitis, HRIPTs assess the long-term effects of cosmetic ingredients on the skin, including irritation and sensitization. For that reason, Patch test allows you to use the claim “dermatologically tested” as it only tests the primary irritancy. On the other hand, HRIPT test is allows supporting several interesting product claims such as: supporting the “Hypoallergenic” claim, “Dermatologically tested”, “Non-irritating”, “Non-sensitizing”, “Suitable for sensitive skin” (if tested on self-declared sensitive skin), “Formulated to minimise the risk of allergy”. By leveraging these testing methods, cosmetic manufacturers can develop products that prioritize safety and efficacy, instilling confidence in consumers and promoting skin health.


Benefits for consumers:

Understanding the differences between patch tests and HRIPTs is essential for cosmetic formulators, dermatologists, and regulatory agencies tasked with safeguarding consumer interests. By embracing rigorous safety testing protocols, the cosmetics industry can uphold its commitment to product quality, transparency, and consumer safety.


Pharmilab offers a specialized laboratory to help you perform both tests! Please contact us to speak to an expert.

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