Cosmetic Testing – A Case Study

Cosmetic Testing

The Problem:

A cosmetic manufacturer had an in-house lab, capable of performing ICP analysis of raw ingredients and finished product for both Active Ingredients and Elemental Impurities.  However, increasing demand for testing of its products and raw materials, both in the U.S. and abroad, was stretching the capacity of its lab.  Additionally, they needed a trusted contract lab to assist with testing, in the event of instrument failures.  Given the nature of cosmetic products, they required a lab which would be transparent in its dealings, while working with difficult matrices involving complex digestions and sample prep protocols.

Our Solution:

SGS worked directly with the client to develop and transfer methods.  Smaller sample sizes were preferred by the client, so as to reduce the amount of reagents used in the digestion process.  This created potential issues with sample homogeneity, which SGS addressed by developing unique mixing techniques and sample insertion processes.

As sample volume increased, SGS installed an additional ICP-OES instrument and microwave digestion instrument, to provide additional ICP-OES capacity, while providing backup in the event an instrument went down unexpectedly.

Soon thereafter, the client’s international operations found it cost advantageous to send samples to SGS for analysis.  The only obstacle remaining with these sample submissions was the turnaround time, which was adversely affected by the additional day of transit with international shipments.  SGS addressed this by instituting processes which allowed for consistent 2 Day TAT for these samples, thus ensuring that the client’s entire process was not held up due to metals testing.

Over time, in addition to the normal audit and lab-certifying process on the part of the client, SGS has hosted several members of the client technical team for an on-site observance of SGS’s practices.  This interchange and openness with lab practices, data and information exchanges, has deepened the trust with the client and allowed them access to a contract lab, which simply isn’t the norm in the industry.  It’s also allowed the client to develop more consistent practices within its own labs while ensuring that SGS is implementing methods and procedures, in-line with the client’s own.

We will be attending the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists Suppliers’ Day 2018. Stop by booth #772 for a chance to win a pair of periodic table shoes!

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