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First in vitro SPF method scientifically validated and accepted into the ISO standardisation process

  • Last updated: February 14, 2019

A new in vitro method, developed by Cosmetics Europe to measure the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of cosmetic products, was accepted by the ISO Technical Committee on cosmetics in November 2018 and is undergoing assessment as a potential new international reference method.

“Appropriate sun protection strategies, including the use of sunscreens, are extremely important in keeping us safe from the harmful effects of exposure to sun. For more than 10 years, Cosmetics Europe has been working with the full support of its membership on a new method that would allow for accurate measurement of the SPF values of sunscreens, while not requiring the exposure of human volunteers to UV radiation. We are very pleased that ISO has recently accepted to work on our new method, which is now on the right track to become a new international standard” said John Chave, Director General of Cosmetics Europe.

The new ground-breaking Cosmetics Europe method was submitted to ISO in response to global demand for a simple yet reliable alternative to the human test, which would still assure the highest level of consumer protection. The Cosmetics Europe in vitro protocol[1] has proved to fulfil ISO validation criteria for emulsion type products and satisfactorily predict SPF values. This means that, when adopted, it would become an equivalent in vitro alternative option for emulsion type products to the existing in vivo standard ISO24444, which is currently the only internationally-recognised method for SPF measurement.

For the last decade, Cosmetics Europe has been at the forefront of development of all ISO-accepted sun protection measurement methods used today by industry as well as regulators. Thanks to its wide network of members, Cosmetics Europe benefits from the support of world-leading scientists, providing the highest quality technical, scientific and strategic guidance to the association. This allows Cosmetics Europe to significantly contribute to international alignment initiatives such as ISO or International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR) and collaborate globally for the benefit of consumers and all stakeholders involved in the field of sun protection.

Other methods are also currently being developed and Cosmetics Europe follows their progress in ISO.

[1] Validation of an In Vitro Sun Protection Factor (SPF) method in blinded ring-testing, M. Pissavini, C. Tricaud, G. Wiener, A. Lauer, M. Contier, L. Kolbe, C. Trullás Cabanas, F. Boyer, V. Nollent, E. Meredith, E. Dietrich, P.J. Matts, International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 20, 2018 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ics.12459

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