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Cosmetics are regulated in the European Union by Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009. The main objectives of this regulation are to create a set of rules with which all cosmetics comply and to ensure a high level of protection for human health. One of the requirements of the regulation is that prior to placing the product on the market a safety assessment is carried out. The regulation specifies that this safety assessment should be in the form of a Cosmetic Product Safety Report.

The Cosmetic Product Safety Report needs to take into account the physical and chemical characteristics of the raw ingredients and the finished cosmetic product. It is required that an assessment of the stability of the cosmetic product under reasonably foreseeable storage conditions is also performed. Ideally stability testing should be carried out on the product in the packaging in which the product is going to be sold, so that a period after opening can be determined for the product. When this is not possible the product can be tested in alternative packaging and the stability of the formulation can be determined. Period after opening can only be determined when the product is tested in the packaging in which the product is going to be sold.

Guidelines on the Stability of Cosmetic Products have been published by COLIPA (now Cosmetics Europe) and the CTFA (now Personal Care Products Council) in March 2004.

SGS Bradford now provide this testing for clients as a response to demand for the service for inclusion in their Cosmetic and Toiletry Product Information Files.