Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Skin Product safety and efficacy testing for lipsticks

  • Product safety and efficacy testing for lipsticks

    Posted by anatomic070 on January 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Hi all,

    I have been trying to research and find more information on this topic but I have been coming across some broad and nonspecific and non- conclusive answers to my search. I am interested in which are the primary safety testings that a lipstick product  requires before coming to market. Is there any specific requirements for the testing of lipsticks to any other skin product and what major toxicological, dermatological testing can you think of which will be vital for the quality/testing&production of such product?

    Many thanks

    anatomic070 replied 6 years, 8 months ago 2 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • johnb

    January 8, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    There is limited number of ingredients that constitute a lipstick and, unless you are introducing a new ingredient into your product (which I very much doubt), you can assume that all components have been thoroughly tested previously. You should be able to get assurances from suppliers that each ingredient is suitable for the end use you intend.

    There is certainly no need to paint your lipstick on to a pig’s face or poke it into the eyes of a rabbit. These practices are way in the distant past (and a lot of misinformation was published about them in the “popular” press).

    This applies to all cosmetic products.

  • anatomic070

    January 9, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you for your reply johnb! You are right, maybe testing does not differ so much from other cosmetic products. My only worry was the fact it is applied on the mouth and this would require more tailored testing approach.

    Based on what I could dig out as information there will be the standard testing methods: animal, human testing and in vitro sampling. Also something more specific to look out for in lipstick samples will be lead or urea. I have come across some other oral examination of makeup but if I am right this is not safety but efficacy testing instead.

  • johnb

    January 9, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    You seem to have missed a salient point in my post.

    Unless you have some innovative ingredient in your product, even lipstick, all the usual components will have been comprehensively tested for suitability and safety thus there is no reason for this to be repeated. No chemical reactions take place in lipsticks so what is put in will be able to be quantitatively recovered.

    When you are “digging out” information on testing procedures, ensure it is up to date. Animal testing IS NOT carried out nowadays.

    Cosmetic materials suppliers ensure that the material they offer are of a quality suitable for the intended end use. On your specific point, there is no chance of lead being present in a cosmetic quality ingredient. Regarding urea, it won’t be there unless it is intended to be but, what is the objection to it? It is a normal component of the body and no doubt will be detectable in any, and all, body tissues.

  • johnb

    January 9, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    As a point of interest, what do you think an example lipstick contains?

  • anatomic070

    January 9, 2017 at 4:52 pm


    I am not bragging I am highly knowledgeable of the topic. If I was I would not pose the question.

     I certainly did not miss the point of your discourse. I am aware that that the ingredients of the intended use have already been pre approved as but there is multiple other ways the final formulation can go wrong or become non-purposefully contaminated and that is why safety testing is needed if one aims for large or even small scale manufacturing to test a number of qualities of the product.

     And as a point of interest as a person that I assume knows much more than me on topics such as this, I imagine you also know there is a lot of animal testing still taking place with species under no protection of federal law (most of them) or just kept away from public eye. It is extensive despite being inhumane and not an area of research I am particularly fond of.

     Lead and urea were only assumptions of ingredients that may appear restricted in some countries in the formulation of products such as lipsticks.

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