Preservative challenge testing of cosmetics and personal care products is important to ensure the safety of the products prior to consumer use. According to the FDA, it is the responsibility of the finished product manufacturer to substantiate the safety of both ingredients and finished cosmetic products prior to marketing. This testing allows manufacturers and formulators of cosmetics to have a clearer picture of how their products will withstand microbial attack which is inevitable during consumer use.
Standard preservative challenge test methods may not be suitable for all types of cosmetic products. During manufacturing process products become contaminated with microorganisms that are not included in standard preservative challenge tests for cosmetics. In such cases, it is important to challenge the products with those specific microorganisms to ensure the preservative system is able to inhibit their growth. In addition to the microorganisms used in the standard preservative test methods, our labs have access to an extensive list of problematic microorganisms.