[Translate to english:] Kosmetik: Konservierungsbelastungstest im Mikrobiologie-Labor

Microbiological quality of cosmetic products

Your contract laboratory for microbiological analysis in switzerland.

To guarantee the quality of a cosmetic product and the safety for the consumer, it is necessary to carry out regular routine microbiological controls from every batch of the finished product before market approval. Generally, these controls comprise the determination of the bacterial count of the product and testing for sufficient levels of preservation (microbiological challenge test). Only if there is a justified case for an exception, such as the product having a high alcohol content, is it possible to forego this testing.

In the EU, the SCCS “Notes of Guidance for the Testing of Cosmetic Substances and their Safety Evaluation” regulates the necessary testing and safety controls. In the evaluation of the quality and safety of cosmetic products and ingredients, Switzerland also supports the SCCS guidelines.

As a GMP-accredited and FDA-registered contract laboratory in Switzerland, we can offer you holistic consultation in the areas of microbiology and hygiene monitoring.

If you would like to know what tests need to be carried out on your cosmetic products, and how the results should be interpreted, we can provide support.

Can we help you further?
We will be happy to advise you!

Your contact person
Sales pharmaceuticals

René Wicki

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The origin of microbiological impurities

Microbiological contamination in a product can originate from one of two sources: Contamination during production and filling: or from entering the product via the consumer when the product is being used. From the moment the packaging is broken open up to the complete consumption of the product, various microbiological contamination is continually introduced from the environment and from the consumer themselves (hands, body).

Possible impurities during the production and filling processes will be tested by regular routine microbiological controls of the batches. Bacteria getting into the product while it is being used is confronted by the use of preservatives

A microbiological challenge test on cosmetic products
A microbiological challenge test on cosmetic products

Germ determination

For determination of the total aerobic microbial count (TAMC) and total yeast mould count (yeast and mould, TYMC), the number of colony building units on a solid culture medium (Agar) will be determined.

Should proof of specified micro-organisms be carried out, then selective culture media will be used. Evaluation is possible after 5 to 7 days. The results that are obtained are then compared with the limit values.


The interpretation of limit values

Cosmetic products are divided into two categories:

  • Category 1: Products for the use of children under three years old in the area around the eyes and/or mucous membranes.
  • Category 2: All other products

For cosmetic products in category 1, the total bacterial count must not exceed 102 CFU/g or 10CFU/ml.

For products in category 2, the limits are set at 103 CFU/g or 103 CFU/ml. Pseudomonas aeruginosaStaphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans must not be able to be identified in 1 g or ml of a product from category 1 and in 0.1 g or ml in a product from category 2.


Microbiological challenge tests

Bacteria getting into the product while it is being used is confronted by the use of preservatives. Their effectiveness can be tested and verified by testing for a sufficient level of preservation as part of a so-called microbiological challenge test. The requirements are dependent upon the intended purpose of the product. For the microbiological challenge tests, the product will be inoculated with germs and germ reduction will be investigated at regular intervals over a specified period of time.

Our services in detail:

Culture media for microbiological testing.
Culture media for microbiological testing.

Infrastructure and Methods

All instrumental resources at a glance. Large selection of instruments and technology from UFAG Laboratories


Virtual Tour

Have a look at our laboratory and our spray drying tower!


Do you have any questions regarding the testing of your products?

We will be happy to advise you!