Cosmetic testing laboratories that clinically test cosmetics have a major role to play in the quality of the product as well as the efficacy of the claims that are made on cosmetic labels. Cosmetic products that have been labelled for a particular use should be effective for the purpose claimed. If the product is not effective for the claimed purpose it means that the cosmetic has been wrongly labelled and is misleading consumers.
Since the safety parameters of cosmetics are quite stringent cosmetic manufacturers use the services of cosmetic testing labs right from the developmental stage. This ensures that they do not inadvertently label cosmetics in a way that could be interpreted as misleading. Performance testing is an important quality test without which cosmetic manufacturers cannot label their products for a specific result or outcome in using the cosmetic. Cosmetic manufacturers, therefore, select independent and recognised cosmetic testing laboratories to carry out this crucial cosmetic testing.
According to the Drug & Cosmetic Rules 1945 cosmetic manufacturers have to fulfil the following labelling requirement.
- Product name along with site addresson both the inner and the outer labels
- If the container is small in size then the principal place of manufacturing and thepin code are enough.
- The outer label should clearly specify the net contents of the ingredients used in themanufacture of the product.
- The inner label should contain the ‘directions for use’ along with any warningor caution that may be necessary. It should also containnames and quantities of ingredients which are hazardous in nature
Besides these, cosmetic label must also declare the net contents expressed in terms of weight for solids, fluid measure for liquids and weight of semi-solids, combined with numerical count if the content is sub-divided. If the cosmetic contains any hazards the cosmetic manufacturer has to issue a warning containing the names and quantities of the ingredients that are hazardous or poisonous. The label must have a batch number so that a particular batch can easily be available for inspection.
In addition, according to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the manufacturer or distributor must possess safety data or studies that provide proof that the product is safe and which should be available when required. Labels need to provide information to consumers about the safety of the product or the precautions they need to take when using these products. Clinical testing analysis reports, given by the cosmetic testing laboratories, are therefore, an important piece of information which can serve as proof about the safety of the cosmetic products.
Cosmetic vigilance is an aspect of Indian Cosmetic Regulations which requires records to be maintained for safety assessments so that processes like product recalls, consumer warning and product withdrawal can be made if products cause any adverse reactions. No cosmetic manufacturer would like to see their products show adverse reactions therefore, cosmetic testing from recognised cosmetic labs ensures that ingredients as well as product formulations are tested accurately so the reputation of the cosmetic brand does not suffer.