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  • Writer's pictureMargarida Lindo

The importance of performing efficacy tests in cosmetic products


In the cosmetic industry, faced with increasingly demanding consumers, it's important to demonstrate the efficacy of products and substantiate claims, informing the end consumer of the possible benefits of the product and enhancing confidence in its use.



According to Commission Regulation (EU) No 655/2013, “claims for cosmetic products, whether explicit or implicit, shall be supported by adequate and verifiable evidence”, such as efficacy tests.


Examples of such claims include:

-Hair strengthening;

-Thermal protection;

-Anti-hair loss;

-Wrinkle reduction;

-Skin moisturizing.


There are specific efficacy tests depending on the category the product belongs to and the claim intended to be made. For example, for hair products, tests can be carried out for strength and resistance, and thermal protection, among others, while for skin products, tests are usually carried out for moisturization, anti-wrinkle, etc.


Various methods can assess these types of tests:

·        Clinical assessment by specialists/dermatologists;

·        Biometric determinations;

·        Photographs;

·        3D images;

·        Subjective evaluation by dermatologists or specialists;

·        Subjective evaluation by consumers.


Regulation (EU) No. 655/2013 also states that “Where studies are being used as evidence, they shall be relevant to the product and to the benefit claimed, shall follow well-designed, well-conducted methodologies (valid, reliable and reproducible) and shall respect ethical considerations”. Therefore, efficacy tests must be carried out in accordance with guidelines and standards for clinical trials, such as ICH E6 (R2) Good clinical practice - Scientific guideline, an international ethical and scientific quality standard for the designing, conducting, recording and reporting trials that involve the participation of human subjects, preserving the integrity of the participants. In addition, the Declaration of Helsinki by the World Medical Association (WMA) establishes ethical principles for medical research involving human beings. According to this declaration, "It is the duty of the physician to promote and safeguard the health, well-being, and rights of patients, including those involved in medical research". Cosmetics Europe - The Personal Care Association (COLIPA) also provides guidelines, such as "Guidelines for the evaluation of the efficacy of cosmetics products".


In conclusion, efficacy tests play a critical role in the cosmetics industry, providing proof of a product's performance, guaranteeing regulatory compliance, increasing consumer confidence and boosting product innovation. Carrying out these tests is a differentiating factor and is essential for the overall success and credibility of cosmetic products on the market.


Are you planning on carrying out efficacy tests for your cosmetic products? Contact us!


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