Testing Moisturizing Claims for Skin

Editor’s note: Cosmetics & Toiletries revived its former “Testing Tactics” column last month with new columnist Trefor Evans, PhD, who focused on hair. Here, rotating with Evans, we feature Chris McLeod, who will provide expertise on the skin care side of testing. Readers are invited to engage with this article on the Cosmetics & Toiletries Magazine LinkedIn Group, or to submit comments to [email protected].

Consumer product testing, along with procedures for implementing claims substantiation protocols, is increasingly becoming one of the most talked about topics in the product development process. Whether a company produces cosmetic products for small, independent boutique brands or for large multinational corporations, the race to enhance (or at the very least, match) a product’s on-package claims to its competitors’ is of paramount importance to gain a crucial foothold in the relevant market and target demographic. One of the main claim substantiation areas in modern cosmetics—although one of the least verbosely exhilarating for marketing departments—is moisturization in skin. As with the majority of cosmetic products and claims in the 21st century, marketing, research, development and formulation departments within companies aim to differentiate their product from competitors in one way or another, to create a successful brand and generate profit.

Although this author cannot deny that moisturization capabilities can provide relief for those who suffer from flaky, itching or irritated and dry skin, it would be careless not to acknowledge the marketing-based beguilement within this moisturization sector. Even if a product is legitimately substantiated for providing 96-hr moisturization, it always begs the questions: Why would such a “mindful-of-their-skin” consumer need unremitting moisturization without re-application or cleansing for four continuous days? And does everyone actually need to artificially moisturize their skin?

While this author has written many a journal on the Sensationalization of Sensation, this column will not be one of them. Henceforth, this article and series will hopefully provide necessary information to assist readers in understanding the testing processes that occur to legitimize on-pack claims of Product X’s capabilities. In an ideal world, every product development team member should understand this process in order to launch the most efficient and cost-effective product. Lest it be forgotten, the claim substantiation procedure, whether for safety or efficacy, is essential to market on-pack claims within the cosmetics industry.

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