The next step in animal-free testing: Measuring cosmetic mildness in vitro

A first-of-its-kind project is validating in vitro mildness tests through correlation with human patch test data. Carol Treasure, Alex Edwards, Fiona Bailey and Stewart Long tell Cosmetics Business more

Scientists at XCellR8 collaborated with the team at Cutest to validate its animal-free irritation tests

Some attributes of cosmetic and personal care products resonate with certain generations: healthy ageing, for example.

However, milder products for sensitive or reactive skin enjoy cross-generational appeal. From the Baby Boomers who grew up with a limited choice of products, to Gen Z who have the pick of a vast range and feel the pressure to look perfect on Instagram, mildness is high on most wish lists for today's successful formulations.

Claims need solid evidence

Driven by this consumer demand for products that are kinder to the skin, companies are investing in the latest ingredients to formulate ever-milder products and remaining mindful that consumer safety must be their primary responsibility.

Some of those innovative ingredients, including novel bio-surfactants, make impressive claims about ultra-mildness and are more expensive than their traditional counterparts.

These claims must be backed up by solid scientific evidence for consumers who expect claims to be supported by real data from the lab and/or human trials.

The trend towards milder products fits naturally into wider appeals for higher ethical standards, integrity and transparency in the industry.

In particular, 'cruelty-free' is not only a legal requirement in Europe since the animal testing ban was enforced in 2013, it is now gaining momentum on a global scale. So, despite the expectation to avoid animal testing, consumers still want to know that . . .

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