Contaminated cosmetics can become harmful to the user if levels of bacteria / fungi are high. It can also cause spoilage to the cosmetic, causing changes in smell and appearance.
Lotions / emulsions, shampoos and conditioners contain water unlike other cosmetics such as eye shadow and powders. This means that lotions etc are more likely to contain contaminants as water promotes microbial growth.
If certain scenarios such as someone using a contaminated product on broken skin or around the eyes occur, the user may develop an infection.
Regulations in most countries require the use of preservatives in certain cosmetics. If your products include these, dipslides can check the efficacy of the preservative used.
The FDA states the following on their website:
"Companies and individuals who manufacture or distribute cosmetics are legally responsible for the safety of their products. This includes, for example, making sure cosmetics are free of harmful microorganisms".
Further information can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/PotentialContaminants/ucm433748.htm
The Guidelines from the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (European Commission) recommend that cosmetic products for children under 3 or for use around the eyes should not have a cfu/ml of more than 102cfu/ ml (total viable count). Any other cosmetic products should not exceed 103 cfu/ml. More information can be found here: SCCP Guidelines.
Our RBS dipslides provide a simple and effective way to test your cosmetics for yeasts, moulds and bacteria.
Our RBS dipslides have Tryptone Soya Agar (includes red spot dye) on one side. This side of the slide tests for total count. The slide will test for a wide range of microorganisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bacillus subtilis. The red spot dye on the Tryptone Soya side makes it easier for the user to count colonies as they appear as red dots.
The other side of the slide is a Rose Bengal agar. This tests for yeasts and moulds.
With viscous lotions, it is advisable to use a swab to transfer the sample onto the dipslide rather than dipping the slide in the sample itself.
- Unscrew the lid from the dipslide, take a swab from your sample and apply it to one side of the dipslide.
- Repeat the procedure on the other side of the dipslide.
- Replace the lid and place the slide in an incubator for 24 - 120 hours. Growth will show on the 'Total Count' side within 24-48 hours. Growth on the yeasts / moulds side will take longer (up to 120 hours).
- Once incubated, compare results with the chart provided.
In order to test your samples, you will need an incubator. We offer a full range of incubators of various sizes. Our Gnat incubator which holds two slides at a time is very popular for smaller applications.
Sterile swabs can be purchased here: Individually wrapped swabs.