Patch Testing

Patch Testing for Cosmetics

Patch testing helps you assess the tolerability of your cosmetic products and it reveals any potential irritants and allergic effects. The QACS Laboratory dermatological compatibility tests are in line with the guidelines on the use of human volunteers in compatibility testing of finished cosmetic products. These include patch tests and human repeated insult patch tests (HRIPT).

Why patch testing is important

The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products intended for Consumers (SCCNFP/0068/98) recommends compatibility testing on a number of human volunteers before a product is finally marketed.

Patch testing evaluates the irritation potential of your cosmetics on the skin. It confirms that there are no harmful effects when applying a cosmetic product for the first time to the human skin or mucous membrane.

What we test for

We carry out patch tests and human repeated insult patch tests (HRIPT) based on strict guidelines and protocols, to release your cosmetics to the market faster.

Under the supervision of experienced dermatologists, we offer:

  • Customised patch tests
  • Dermatological evaluations
  • Volunteer pool of 800 people, male or female, aged 18 to 65, with different skin types

You can also customise your patch test panel depending on your needs.

We use established patch test protocols:

  • Patch test
  • Human repeated insult patch test (HRIPT)

We comply with the following regulatory requirements:

The patch test is conducted on 10, 12, 20 or 30 volunteers. However, you can customise the number of your volunteers depending on your needs.

During a patch test we apply a trace of the ingredient or the finished product on an occlusive patch. We then apply the patch on the adult volunteers, directly on the skin of their back, for 48 hours.

Our experienced dermatologists perform a clinical observation of the effects on the skin after the patch is removed. The irritant potential is ranked based on a predetermined scale that corresponds to the degree of irritation.

The results are classified as:

  • Negative (-)
  • Irritant reaction (IR)
  • Equivocal / uncertain (+/-)
  • Weak positive (+)
  • Strong positive (++)
  • Extreme reaction (+++)

We use the human repeated insult patch test (HRIPT) to examine skin compatibility and the absence of allergic potential of cosmetic products. This is assessed after repeated application to the skin under extreme experimental conditions.

Our dermatologists:

  • Apply the patch with the product directly on the skin of the volunteers for a specific period of time.
  • Repeat the applications 9 times over a period of 3 consecutive weeks, which is the period necessary for possible induction of an allergy.
  • Allow for a rest period of at least 2 weeks without any patch applications.
  • Proceed with a single application of a patch on the previous induction site and on a virgin site for a specific period of time.
  • Check for possible induced allergies upon removal of the patches.

How much does patch testing cost?

Prices vary according to the number of volunteers and the duration of patch tests. Fill in our contact form to request our price list and find out how our QACS Laboratory team can adapt the protocol to your needs.