From the column editor: The ability to assess potential safety concerns and develop reliable means for evaluating claims for personal care products remains a critical component of the product development pathway. A combination of clinical observations, bioinstrumentation, photography and in vitro alternative technologies represents the mainstay for assigning risk assessment and claims substantiation for new actives and finished formulations. However, the increasing demand for performance-driven personal care products and the need to understand a product’s mechanism of action provides a scientific challenge to the industry formulator, toxicologist and expert evaluator.
Gaining Safety and Efficacy Information from the Skin
In medical diagnostics, perhaps the most definitive answer to a health question is to take and analyze a biopsy of the affected tissue. In dermatology, the practitioner benefits from having the skin directly accessible, thus allowing a visual assessment prior to obtaining the biopsy. Whille the accessibility of the skin simplifies the biopsy procedure, it does not render it less invasive and the taking of a biopsy must be weighed by the potential medical benefits. In most, if not all considerations, the removal of a skin sample is preferable to the consequences of ignoring a potentially life-altering lesion.