SGS Helps Cosmetics Industry Respond to Increase in Consumers Reporting Sensitive Skin

Top Quote Consumers increasing demand cosmetic products that can demonstrate they won’t irritate sensitive skin. SGS has developed the ‘Dermatologically Tested: Skin Tolerance’ approval mark to help companies differentiate their products in the marketplace. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) January 29, 2020 - SGS has developed the ‘Dermatological Tested: Skin Tolerance’ approval mark to help cosmetic manufacturers demonstrate their products are kind to people’s skin.

    According to a 2019 study, 60% of consumers now report having sensitive skin. In a global skincare market expected to grow by USD 45.58 billion by 2023, it is important for manufacturers to be able to show their products won’t irritate sensitive skin. Skin tolerance has become an important factor for consumers when choosing a cosmetic or personal care product. A study in Germany found that 50% of consumers felt skin tolerance was more important than price or brand name.

    Sensitive skin is, however, difficult to define. Consumers claim it but are they all claiming the same thing? Symptoms can differ. Common indicators are inflammation, itching, burning, stinging, tightness and dryness. To avoid buying the wrong products, consumers want a simple way to know the product they buy won’t irritate their condition.

    Cosmetics sold within the European Union (EU) must conform to Regulation (EC) 1223/2009. In addition, Regulation (EU) No 655/2013 sets out the common criteria for the justification of claims relating to cosmetic products such as “no tears”, “improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles”, “skin appears smoother”, “Sun Protection Factor (SPF)”, and “48H efficacy”.

    The criteria in Regulation (EU) No 655/2013 essentially say claims must support informed decision-making and demonstrate:
    • Legal compliance
    • Truthfulness
    • Fairness
    • Honesty

    There should also be evidential support for these claims. In reality, best practice means either experimental studies, consumer perception tests, published information, or a combination of all these forms of evidence.

    For claims such as “dermatologist/dermatologically tested” and/or “tolerated by sensitive skin”, manufacturers can use the primary dermal irritation (PDI) test or epicutaneous patch test. This can be performed on a wide variety of cosmetic and personal care products, including skincare products.

    The test must be conducted on a minimum of 30 subjects and must be structured in a way that accurately replicates the way the product is used. For example, products that have longer exposure to skin are tested occlusively – a plaster is affixed after the application to create a solid barrier. For rinse-off products, a semi-occlusive test is performed – using air and water vapor permeable tape. Negative and positive standard trials are run concurrently using water and 0.5% SDS solution (sodium lauryl sulphate). After 24 hours, the plaster is removed and a further 24 hours later a dermatologist examines the skin for irritation.

    To help manufacturers respond to consumer demands for products that demonstrate skin tolerance, SGS developed the ‘Dermatologically Tested: Skin Tolerance’ approval mark. Based on the PDI test, the approval mark is only awarded to products deemed to have "very good skin tolerance" or "good skin tolerance".

    The test is available as either an occlusive and semi-occlusive test, depending on the product, with the mark being awarded after the results are considered against the "dermatologically tested" evaluation criteria in the EU publication "Technical Document on Cosmetic Claims". A wide range of products can receive the mark, including creams, shower gels, shampoos, perfumes and bath balls.

    To learn more about the ‘Dermatologically Tested: Skin Tolerance’ mark: []

    SGS Cosmetics & Personal Care Testing Services
    SGS provides testing, inspection, auditing and consulting services to manufacturers, distributors and importers to ensure a high level of product quality in every area. A global network of state-of-the-art laboratories offer custom-made solutions for chemical, biophysical, microbiological, stability and biological aspects. Learn more about SGS’s Cosmetics & Personal Care Testing Services. (

    For more information, please contact:
    Hubert Brundu
    Global Technical Manager
    Tel: +33 442616491
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com
    LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

    About SGS
    SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 97,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

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