Unified SPF Testing Method Signed at Colipa General Assembly

An agreement has been signed by Europe’s Colipa, the U.S. Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), the Japanese Cosmetic Industry Association and the CTFA of South Africa, regulating the ever-disputed measurement of SPF. The International Protection Factor (SPF) Test Method was signed at the Colipa General Assembly in Estoril, Portugal on June 1, 2006.

According to the Colipa press release, the agreed upon method unifies the substantiation of SPF product claims.

The unified regulation of SPF claims benefits various arenas of sun care. The consumer is given the benefit of knowing that wherever they purchase sun protection products, SPF will remain the same. Control authorities’ jobs will be better simplified, giving them a standard way to test SPF. Companies will also be given a set procedure to regulate their products.

The new method will be applied throughout the EU, Japan and South-Africa. Although the United States supports and promotes the international method as the appropriate standard that all regulatory frameworks should move towards, the will continue to use U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for SPF, which vary somewhat. More countries are expected by Colipa to add the method to their SPF products.

The test method specifies details such as: at least 10 healthy volunteers are tested; two mg of sunscreen is applied to every square centimeter of skin and the only area designated to test on is the back between the waist and shoulders. A copy of the method can be purchased by calling Colipa at Tel:+00-32-2-227-66-10.

The CTFA of the United States will hold a meeting on June 16, 2006, based on the concept of a unified SPF testing method. Global SPF Testing: The Possibility of Harmonization will give industry professional, government officials and the general public the opportunity to discuss SPF testing both in the United States and abroad.

A review of the economic performance of the European cosmetic industry in 2005 was also made during the meeting. Those attending discovered that the European cosmetics industry contributes nearly €65 billion to the European economy and remains a world market leader. Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain were found to be the largest cosmetic markets in Europe.

The meeting discussed the major product categories for 2005 which included: skin care products, toiletries and hair care products. In addition, the meeting reported the Central and Eastern European markets to be contributing more to

Europe’s cosmetic market than the 15 Western European members, Switzerland and Norway. Colipa’s General Assembly was devoted to consumer confidence, in which SPF regulation plays a large part.

-Katie Schaefer, C&T  Magazine

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