With the increase in more organic and natural skin care products in the market, it is vital that the products you purchase have been manufactured according to proper GMP and Quality assurance standards.
GMP refers to Good Manufacturing Practices which is a critical part in the manufacturing process of natural and organic skin care. GMP standards relate to specific systems put into place to ensure the product’s quality and safety. For a product to be considered Quality Assured, the manufacturing process needs to maintain a certain standard of quality at all levels. Quality assurance of cosmetic product manufacturing should include set procedures that support product stability and safety, proper documentation records, specific tests along with set standards for validation.
Under GMP and Quality Assurance standards for skin care manufacturing, the facility must also use proper equipment for production, mixing, filling etc that is clean and well maintained. In addition, specific regulatory tests should be conducted on specific raw natural ingredients and finished product regularly to ensure the product complies to safety and performance standards.
These tests can include:
Microbial Testing – Testing of the raw ingredients and finished formula provides data to show if the product or ingredient falls under safe and allowable levels of these microbes. The manufacturer is required to maintain these documents on file and conduct regular microbial testing on their products. Contamination of the ingredients and product can also occur from exposure in an environment that is not clean and also from improper handling as well as storage.
Preservative Challenge Testing – When a skin care product has a shelf life claim the company needs to verify this shelf life through preservative challenge testing. This testing should span the length of time that relates to the shelf life claim and helps to verify that the preservative complex used will keep growth of microbial’s to an acceptable and allowable level over the course of the claimed shelf life.
Other tests are also conducted on cosmetic product to test performance, levels of skin irritations, pH, allowable temperature levels the product can be exposed to and others. The product manufacturer and supplier must keep on hand for each batch, proper documentation including Certification of Analysis, MSDS sheet and documents that indicate batch lot number with date of manufacturer.