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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1987 Aug;53(8):1827-32.

Correlation of in vitro challenge testing with consumer use testing for cosmetic products.

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Beauty Care Division, Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241.


An in vitro microbial challenge test has been developed to predict the likelihood of consumer contamination of cosmetic products. The challenge test involved inoculating product at four concentrations (30, 50, 70, and 100%) with microorganisms known to contaminate cosmetics. Elimination of these microorganisms at each concentration was followed over a 28-day period. The test was used to classify products as poorly preserved, marginally preserved, or well preserved. Consumer use testing was then used to determine whether the test predicted the risk of actual consumer contamination. Products classified by the challenge test as poorly preserved returned 46 to 90% contaminated after use. Products classified by the challenge test as well preserved returned with no contamination. Marginally preserved products returned with 0 to 21% of the used units contaminated. As a result, the challenge test described can be accurately used to predict the risk of consumer contamination of cosmetic products.

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