Sunscreen & UV Testing

  • SPF and UVA
  • Phototoxicity
  • Photo-Allergy Maximization

Validated Claim Support custom developed its SPF testing department based on the current needs of the industry.  With 8 customized water immersion tubs and multiple Solar Light Multiport Simulators along with a virtually limitless panelist pool through our strategic partnership with Assistance in Marketing (AIM) VCS provides efficient and accurate SPF and UVA results, every time.

VCS is compliant with all major international standards including: 
– FDA Static, 40 and 80 min Water Resistant 
– ISO 24442, 24443, 24444 
– Colipa Water Resistant and Very Water Resistant 
– Australia/New Zealand Modifications
– JCIA UVA

Custom Protocol are available to test conditions such as: 
– Chlorinated Water 
– Salt Water 
– Sand Resistance 
– Towel/Abrasion Resistance 
– Wet Application

*please note that the secondary claims noted above may or may not be approved by regulatory bodies throughout the world. Always consult your legal team when developing your final label claims.

UV Radiation is not only harmful to the skin, it also breaks down the chemical bonds and active ingredients in many commonly available products as well.  In fact, many common sunscreen active ingredients are not fully photostable, and they actually lose their efficacy when exposed to longer doses of sunlight (natural or artificial).

Phototoxicity studies are designed to determine if products become irritating when exposed to continuous doses of UV radiation. 

The study involves a combination of traditional patch testing (24 or 48 hour application) with secondary applications that are exposed to controlled UV radiation at the in-vivo level.

While photostability testing is important for sunscreens, it is a paramount concern for non-protective skincare such as facial anti-aging and moisturization products without SPF actives: these products often tend to hit the market without any controlled UV testing or application.

Photostability is perhaps a more recent claim and isn’t yet required by most major regulatory bodies, but it has come into the foreground a bit more in recent years.  A Photostability test is required by the Skin Cancer Foundation in order to submit a product for their array of Seals of Approval which can demonstrate how your product and your brand are foreword thinking about global consumer protection while additionally providing secondary promotional support.

More information about the various seals is available Here

Photo-Allergy Maximization goes a step further (or 15 steps further, to be exact) pairing controlled continuous applications under patch conditions with UV exposures.

The test is basically like a combination of Repeat Insult Patch Testing and Phototoxicity, and provides data that demonstrates that your product has documented superior safety data to over 98% of the products on the market today.

Photo-Allergy Maximization Testing also provides reasonable documentation to help support all of the claims that are generally made after RIPT and Phototoxicity testing, along with the only industry standard means to helping support “Non-Photosensitizing.”

* Please consult your legal team for final language regarding all publicly displayed or demonstrated claims.  Whatever their final decision may be VCS can provide an ethical, safe, and cost-effective means to finalizing your needs with their approval.

Safety Testing, Irritation, and Inflammation

  • RIPT/Patch Testing
  • Repeat Open Application Testing/Cumulative Irritancy
  • Ophthalmological Testing
  • Anti-Inflammation and Counter Irritation

RIPT stands for Repeat Insult Patch Testing: it’s generally utilized to demonstrate that products or ingredients have no direct immediate irritating or long-term sensitizing reactions with the skin through continued use. 

Accordingly, RIPT is often synonymous with “Safety Testing” for topical products in a controlled setting.  It has been utilized to help support claims such as “non-irritating,” “hypoallergenic,” “non-sensitizing,” and a wide range of Medical Professional related claims such as “Dermatologist Approved.”

Generally multiple products are tested in an array on either 50 or 100 subjects to minimize costs, however exclusive panels are available as well.

Products are applied continuously over the course of 6 weeks under gauze pads and applied to panelists backs, and the treatment sites are then evaluated by a trained technician.  If any discernable redness, irritation, scaling, dryness, or erythema develops over the course of the study, either on the site or elsewhere on the body, products are immediately deemed as potentially sensitizing.

A number of modifications to RIPT can be made depending on the specific intended use and composition of your product (long term application, rinse off/rinse on product, aerosol, cream, etc) and include utilizing different patch conditions including:

  • Occlusive (closed patch)
  • Semi-Occlusive (gauze patch)
  • Open (non patched, open to air and environmental stimuli)

Patch Testing can also be consolidated into a single application (24 or 48 hour) at a reduced cost as well, although this does not assess sensitization or allergenic reactions.

Skin tests used to determine if a product causes contact irritation when continuously applied to the intended treatment site, or a standard localized site on the back, forearm or leg. 

*Generally standard patch testing is completed prior to conducting ROAT testing in order to rule out initial irritating reactions.

Repeat Open Application Testing is often conducted on “daily use” products to ensure that localized reactions are not experienced on a panel of 20 or more test subjects.

Generally a 2 or 3 week test period is utilized to determine the cumulative impact of product application.

Studies designed to determine if products are safe for use in the sensitive eye area. 

A consulting ophthalmologist conducts assessments prior to product application and then again after product use, either immediately or over a period of 1 week.

Subjects utilize the products at home for a week and then return for final evaluations and scoring.

*Prior to any Ophthalmological/Eye Area testing VCS requires a review of in-vitro ocular irritation data from an accredited third party laboratory. 

These studies (with relevant modifications)  can be used to help verify claims such as:

  • Kind to Eyes
  • No Tears Formula
  • Suitable for contact lens wearers
  • Ophthalmologically Tested

*Direct Instillation and Non-Direct Instillation methods are available.

Tests designed to demonstrate a reduction in induced redness, irritation, or erythema against a variety of control products and an untreated site.

Products are applied open on a forearm, and erythema is induced in a controlled laboratory setting via UV exposure, friction, or application of known contact irritants (SLS).

Studies are designed to demonstrate a comparison between treated and untreated sites and demonstrate shortened duration of irritation or inflammation.

Technicians grade the treatment sites blind (one technician demarks individual sites and blinds the control products, the treatment product, and the untreated site) and scores are recorded on a numerical data table.

Validated Clinical Photography can be paired with anti-inflammation studies in order to visually demonstrate efficacy over time and provide compelling claim support.

*Particular care should be taken when documenting and finalizing label claims about inflammation: please always consult your legal team for final claim verification support.

Skincare Claims & Efficacy

  • Self-Assessed Questionnaires
  • Instrumental Evaluations
  • Technician and Scalar Grading

Many claims start with a sensory review of how a product “looks,” “feels,” and otherwise interacts when applied to the skin.  Questionnaires offer a wide scope of potential target data points and they are particularly non-invasive forms of gathering user feedback.

In terms of cost effectiveness, you can cover a wide breadth of potential marketing claim support with a simple use regimen and well documented question and answer session relatively cheaply.

Users can take home products and report back on their result related feedback after a set period of time, switching out their current product regimen (or continuing it depending on your specific needs as well).  Questions are generally either yes/no or based on a scalar format depending on client specific needs.

Sample questions:

1)  Skin appears dramatically more hydrated:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
4) Test products significantly reduce roughness and dryness:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
2) Skin feels significantly more hydrated:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
5) Test products significantly improves skin’s radiance:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
3) Test products significantly improves skin’s softness and smoothness:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
6) Test product significantly improves skin’s dullness:
(a) agree
(b) disagree

**It is very important to denote the difference between “self-assessed” claims and “instrumental” or “objective” measurements.  Please consult your legal team for final language regarding all publicly displayed or demonstrated claims.  Whatever their final decision may be VCS can provide an ethical, safe, and cost effective means to finalizing your needs with their approval. 

Instrumentally supported claims are a generally considered to be a slightly more robust and objective means of documenting product efficacy.

Devices are used to measure variables such as:

    • Smoothness
    • Color/Tone
    • Lightness
    • Oil Content
    • Evaporation (TEWL/TEML)
    • Moisturization
    • Firmness
    • Elasticity
    • Wrinkle Depth
    • Pore Analysis

Sponsors have utilized instrumental analysis to support claims such as:

Moisturizes up to x% in as little as one use

Increases luminosity by up to x%

Reduces oiliness

Increases skin firmness by up to x%

*In the best interest of safety for the global consumer as well as your continuing success in business, please ensure that all of your claims are vetted by your legal department and tested by a reputable and Validated Claim Support laboratory.

Some product related effects are best graded by an unbiased and well trained third party.  While often paired with instrumental assessments, clinical photography, or qualitative questionnaires technical grading provides a documented and proven means to substantiating label and marketing claims without “user bias.”

Scales can be drafted from industry standards or client provided, and potential study claims have previously included:

    • Firmness
    • Wrinkle Evaluation
    • Redness/Color Tone
    • Lightness/Brightening
    • Tan Abatement
    • Long Wear and Durability
    • Evening of Skin Tone
    • Pore Size Reduction
    • Shine Control
    • Youthfulness
    • Irritation and Inflammation Reduction
Haircare Claims & Efficacy

  • Subjective User Feedback
  • Professional/Salon Use

As with skincare, many haircare claims start with a sensory review of how a product “looks,” “feels,” and otherwise interacts when applied to the hair or scalp.  Questionnaires offer a wide scope of potential target data points and they are particularly non-invasive forms of gathering user feedback.

In terms of cost effectiveness, you can cover a wide breadth of potential marketing claim support with a simple use regimen and well documented question and answer session relatively cheaply. 

Users can take home products and report back on their result related feedback after a set period of time, switching out their current product regimen (or continuing it depending on your specific needs as well).  Questions are generally either yes/no or based on a scalar format depending on client specific needs.

Sample questions:

    1. Test product visually improved the volume of my hair: y/n
    2. Test product visually reduced appearance of hair loss
    3. Test product made my hair appear more healthy
    4. Test product made my hair appear more shiny
    5. Test product made my hair feel stronger
    6. Test product enhanced the softness of my hair
    7. Test product improved the texture of my hair
    8. Test product made my hair seem thicker

**It is very important to denote the difference between “self-assessed” claims and “instrumental” or “objective” measurements.  Please consult your legal team for final language regarding all publicly displayed or demonstrated claims.  Whatever their final decision may be VCS can provide an ethical, safe, and cost effective means to finalizing your needs with their approval. 

Generally it is considered good practice to conduct claim support in a manner that coincides with the intended use of your product, and for “professional and salon use products” that involves finding a professional laboratory with a viable in-use salon. 

VCS has 3 state of the art salon style wash stations and can contract Cosmetologist work on a consulting basis through our own network, or host client provided onsite application specialists.

Claims supported can include:

    • Hair Volume
    • Hair Color Persistence
    • Hair Color Coverage
    • Grey Reduction
    • Dandruff Reduction
    • Hair Smoothing
    • Hair Straightening
    • Frizz Control
    • Hair Shine Improvement
clinical photography

If a picture is worth a thousand words, two or more extreme resolution pictures demonstrating product efficacy stitched together in a modern and compelling visual format are. . . priceless.

VCS can provide custom extreme resolution photography to help support and validate your claims in conjunction with other study methodologies or as a stand-alone process.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, unless it comes to differentiating your product in an ever competitive marketplace. Don’t settle for anything less than the industry's best visual claim support.

(Use your mouse or touch to interact with the photos below)

In the best interest of safety for the modern global consumer as well as your continuing success in business, please ensure that all of your claims are vetted by your legal department and tested by a reputable and validated claim support laboratory.

SUNSCREEN & UV TESTING

  • SPF and UVA
  • Phototoxicity
  • Photo-Allergy Maximization

Validated Claim Support custom developed its SPF testing department based on the current needs of the industry.  With 8 customized water immersion tubs and multiple Solar Light Multiport Simulators along with a virtually limitless panelist pool through our strategic partnership with Assistance in Marketing (AIM) VCS provides efficient and accurate SPF and UVA results, every time.

VCS is compliant with all major international standards including: 
– FDA Static, 40 and 80 min Water Resistant 
– ISO 24442, 24443, 24444 
– Colipa Water Resistant and Very Water Resistant 
– Australia/New Zealand Modifications
– JCIA UVA

Custom Protocol are available to test conditions such as: 
– Chlorinated Water 
– Salt Water 
– Sand Resistance 
– Towel/Abrasion Resistance 
– Wet Application

*please note that the secondary claims noted above may or may not be approved by regulatory bodies throughout the world. Always consult your legal team when developing your final label claims.

UV Radiation is not only harmful to the skin, it also breaks down the chemical bonds and active ingredients in many commonly available products as well.  In fact, many common sunscreen active ingredients are not fully photostable, and they actually lose their efficacy when exposed to longer doses of sunlight (natural or artificial).

Phototoxicity studies are designed to determine if products become irritating when exposed to continuous doses of UV radiation. 

The study involves a combination of traditional patch testing (24 or 48 hour application) with secondary applications that are exposed to controlled UV radiation at the in-vivo level.

While photostability testing is important for sunscreens, it is a paramount concern for non-protective skincare such as facial anti-aging and moisturization products without SPF actives: these products often tend to hit the market without any controlled UV testing or application.

Photostability is perhaps a more recent claim and isn’t yet required by most major regulatory bodies, but it has come into the foreground a bit more in recent years.  A Photostability test is required by the Skin Cancer Foundation in order to submit a product for their array of Seals of Approval which can demonstrate how your product and your brand are foreword thinking about global consumer protection while additionally providing secondary promotional support.

More information about the various seals is available Here

Photo-Allergy Maximization goes a step further (or 15 steps further, to be exact) pairing controlled continuous applications under patch conditions with UV exposures.

The test is basically like a combination of Repeat Insult Patch Testing and Phototoxicity, and provides data that demonstrates that your product has documented superior safety data to over 98% of the products on the market today.

Photo-Allergy Maximization Testing also provides reasonable documentation to help support all of the claims that are generally made after RIPT and Phototoxicity testing, along with the only industry standard means to helping support “Non-Photosensitizing.”

* Please consult your legal team for final language regarding all publicly displayed or demonstrated claims.  Whatever their final decision may be VCS can provide an ethical, safe, and cost-effective means to finalizing your needs with their approval.

Safety Testing, Irritation, and Inflammation

  • RIPT/Patch Testing
  • Repeat Open Application Testing/Cumulative Irritancy
  • Ophthalmological Testing
  • Anti-Inflammation and Counter Irritation

RIPT stands for Repeat Insult Patch Testing: it’s generally utilized to demonstrate that products or ingredients have no direct immediate irritating or long-term sensitizing reactions with the skin through continued use. 

Accordingly, RIPT is often synonymous with “Safety Testing” for topical products in a controlled setting.  It has been utilized to help support claims such as “non-irritating,” “hypoallergenic,” “non-sensitizing,” and a wide range of Medical Professional related claims such as “Dermatologist Approved.”

Generally multiple products are tested in an array on either 50 or 100 subjects to minimize costs, however exclusive panels are available as well.

Products are applied continuously over the course of 6 weeks under gauze pads and applied to panelists backs, and the treatment sites are then evaluated by a trained technician.  If any discernable redness, irritation, scaling, dryness, or erythema develops over the course of the study, either on the site or elsewhere on the body, products are immediately deemed as potentially sensitizing.

A number of modifications to RIPT can be made depending on the specific intended use and composition of your product (long term application, rinse off/rinse on product, aerosol, cream, etc) and include utilizing different patch conditions including:

  • Occlusive (closed patch)
  • Semi-Occlusive (gauze patch)
  • Open (non patched, open to air and environmental stimuli)

Patch Testing can also be consolidated into a single application (24 or 48 hour) at a reduced cost as well, although this does not assess sensitization or allergenic reactions.

Skin tests used to determine if a product causes contact irritation when continuously applied to the intended treatment site, or a standard localized site on the back, forearm or leg. 

*Generally standard patch testing is completed prior to conducting ROAT testing in order to rule out initial irritating reactions.

Repeat Open Application Testing is often conducted on “daily use” products to ensure that localized reactions are not experienced on a panel of 20 or more test subjects.

Generally a 2 or 3 week test period is utilized to determine the cumulative impact of product application.

Studies designed to determine if products are safe for use in the sensitive eye area. 

A consulting ophthalmologist conducts assessments prior to product application and then again after product use, either immediately or over a period of 1 week.

Subjects utilize the products at home for a week and then return for final evaluations and scoring.

*Prior to any Ophthalmological/Eye Area testing VCS requires a review of in-vitro ocular irritation data from an accredited third party laboratory. 

These studies (with relevant modifications)  can be used to help verify claims such as:

  • Kind to Eyes
  • No Tears Formula
  • Suitable for contact lens wearers
  • Ophthalmologically Tested

*Direct Instillation and Non-Direct Instillation methods are available.

Tests designed to demonstrate a reduction in induced redness, irritation, or erythema against a variety of control products and an untreated site.

Products are applied open on a forearm, and erythema is induced in a controlled laboratory setting via UV exposure, friction, or application of known contact irritants (SLS).

Studies are designed to demonstrate a comparison between treated and untreated sites and demonstrate shortened duration of irritation or inflammation.

Technicians grade the treatment sites blind (one technician demarks individual sites and blinds the control products, the treatment product, and the untreated site) and scores are recorded on a numerical data table.

Validated Clinical Photography can be paired with anti-inflammation studies in order to visually demonstrate efficacy over time and provide compelling claim support.

*Particular care should be taken when documenting and finalizing label claims about inflammation: please always consult your legal team for final claim verification support.

Skincare Claims & Efficacy

  • Self-Assessed Questionnaires
  • Instrumental Evaluations
  • Technician and Scalar Grading

Many claims start with a sensory review of how a product “looks,” “feels,” and otherwise interacts when applied to the skin.  Questionnaires offer a wide scope of potential target data points and they are particularly non-invasive forms of gathering user feedback.

In terms of cost effectiveness, you can cover a wide breadth of potential marketing claim support with a simple use regimen and well documented question and answer session relatively cheaply.

Users can take home products and report back on their result related feedback after a set period of time, switching out their current product regimen (or continuing it depending on your specific needs as well).  Questions are generally either yes/no or based on a scalar format depending on client specific needs.

Sample questions:

1)  Skin appears dramatically more hydrated:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
4) Test products significantly reduce roughness and dryness:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
2) Skin feels significantly more hydrated:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
5) Test products significantly improves skin’s radiance:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
3) Test products significantly improves skin’s softness and smoothness:
(a) agree
(b) disagree
6) Test product significantly improves skin’s dullness:
(a) agree
(b) disagree

**It is very important to denote the difference between “self-assessed” claims and “instrumental” or “objective” measurements.  Please consult your legal team for final language regarding all publicly displayed or demonstrated claims.  Whatever their final decision may be VCS can provide an ethical, safe, and cost effective means to finalizing your needs with their approval. 

Instrumentally supported claims are a generally considered to be a slightly more robust and objective means of documenting product efficacy.

Devices are used to measure variables such as:

    • Smoothness
    • Color/Tone
    • Lightness
    • Oil Content
    • Evaporation (TEWL/TEML)
    • Moisturization
    • Firmness
    • Elasticity
    • Wrinkle Depth
    • Pore Analysis

Sponsors have utilized instrumental analysis to support claims such as:

Moisturizes up to x% in as little as one use

Increases luminosity by up to x%

Reduces oiliness

Increases skin firmness by up to x%

*In the best interest of safety for the global consumer as well as your continuing success in business, please ensure that all of your claims are vetted by your legal department and tested by a reputable and Validated Claim Support laboratory.

Some product related effects are best graded by an unbiased and well trained third party.  While often paired with instrumental assessments, clinical photography, or qualitative questionnaires technical grading provides a documented and proven means to substantiating label and marketing claims without “user bias.”

Scales can be drafted from industry standards or client provided, and potential study claims have previously included:

    • Firmness
    • Wrinkle Evaluation
    • Redness/Color Tone
    • Lightness/Brightening
    • Tan Abatement
    • Long Wear and Durability
    • Evening of Skin Tone
    • Pore Size Reduction
    • Shine Control
    • Youthfulness
    • Irritation and Inflammation Reduction

Haircare Claims & Efficacy

  • Subjective User Feedback
  • Professional/Salon Use

As with skincare, many haircare claims start with a sensory review of how a product “looks,” “feels,” and otherwise interacts when applied to the hair or scalp.  Questionnaires offer a wide scope of potential target data points and they are particularly non-invasive forms of gathering user feedback.

In terms of cost effectiveness, you can cover a wide breadth of potential marketing claim support with a simple use regimen and well documented question and answer session relatively cheaply. 

Users can take home products and report back on their result related feedback after a set period of time, switching out their current product regimen (or continuing it depending on your specific needs as well).  Questions are generally either yes/no or based on a scalar format depending on client specific needs.

Sample questions:

    1. Test product visually improved the volume of my hair: y/n
    2. Test product visually reduced appearance of hair loss
    3. Test product made my hair appear more healthy
    4. Test product made my hair appear more shiny
    5. Test product made my hair feel stronger
    6. Test product enhanced the softness of my hair
    7. Test product improved the texture of my hair
    8. Test product made my hair seem thicker

**It is very important to denote the difference between “self-assessed” claims and “instrumental” or “objective” measurements.  Please consult your legal team for final language regarding all publicly displayed or demonstrated claims.  Whatever their final decision may be VCS can provide an ethical, safe, and cost effective means to finalizing your needs with their approval. 

Generally it is considered good practice to conduct claim support in a manner that coincides with the intended use of your product, and for “professional and salon use products” that involves finding a professional laboratory with a viable in-use salon. 

VCS has 3 state of the art salon style wash stations and can contract Cosmetologist work on a consulting basis through our own network, or host client provided onsite application specialists.

Claims supported can include:

    • Hair Volume
    • Hair Color Persistence
    • Hair Color Coverage
    • Grey Reduction
    • Dandruff Reduction
    • Hair Smoothing
    • Hair Straightening
    • Frizz Control
    • Hair Shine Improvement

Clinical Photography

If a picture is worth a thousand words, two or more extreme resolution pictures demonstrating product efficacy stitched together in a modern and compelling visual format are. . . priceless.

VCS can provide custom extreme resolution photography to help support and validate your claims in conjunction with other study methodologies or as a stand-alone process.

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, unless it comes to differentiating your product in an ever competitive marketplace. Don’t settle for anything less than the industry's best visual claim support.

(Use your mouse or touch to interact with the photos below)

In the best interest of safety for the modern global consumer as well as your continuing success in business, please ensure that all of your claims are vetted by your legal department and tested by a reputable and validated claim support laboratory.