Cosmetics 101 Starts with Product Safety

By: ICMAD — Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors

CPNA interviewed a leading expert in the industry – Craig Weiss – in anticipation of ICMAD’s Technical/Regulatory Forum that is held February 13-14, 2018 in Newport Beach, California.

Craig Weiss, the President of the Consumer Product Testing Co. (CPT), is no stranger to the cosmetics industry.  As he puts it “I was practically raised in the company.” That company is the Consumer Product Testing Co., which Craig’s father Mel started in 1975. CPT is a toxicology facility doing acute testing work for the cosmetics industry.  Mel introduced Craig to the industry when Craig was young and by age 13 he was in the facility with his Dad learning by osmosis.  When Craig graduated from college with a bio-chemistry degree, his father said there was no job for him at Consumer Product Testing and so Craig, undaunted, “cut his teeth” in other parts of the cosmetics industry until he joined CPT in 1991.  Almost 27 years later, Craig is the President, running a $15M operation with 130 employees.  CPT tests all types of products and devices from cosmetics and sunscreens, to medical devices and over-the-counter drugs.

In addition to running the Consumer Product Labs, Craig is active in many industry organizations. He is on the board of Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD).  He also chairs their Technical/Regulatory Committee and is leading the effort for ICMAD’s Annual Technical/Regulatory Forum next month in Newport Beach California.

Since 2005, ICMAD’s Technical/Regulatory forum has provided hands-on insight to many in the industry, offering information on selling your product internationally and topical trends in the industry, including natural v. organic.  New for 2018, ICMAD is offering a two-track format which will enable attendees to sign-up for specific breakout sessions.  Two of those breakout sessions are new this year, Cosmetics 101 and 102, The College of Cosmetics.  “Anyone thinking about getting into the cosmetics industry or already an entrepreneur, will not want to miss Cosmetics 101 and 102,” says Craig Weiss.  “ICMAD is well on their way to making this the premier cosmetics industry event in the country,” adds Weiss.

The College of Cosmetics

Cosmetics 101: What do you need to do to make sure your product is safe and ready to go to market?

Cosmetics 102 – What kinds of claims can you make and what do you have to watch out for when you have influencers?

More details on ICMAD’s Technical/Regulatory Forum and registration information can be found here.

Q & A with Craig Weiss, President, Consumer Product Testing Co.

Q: I am about to launch a new product?  Do I need to do safety testing?

A: The short answer is yes.  The potential downsides of not doing safety-testing are too great.

Q: Are there different types of tests depending upon the product?

A: Yes.  Your testing lab can help you determine the appropriate type of test.  Ultimately, you will have to test the final product.

Q: If my product is a natural product, do I still have to do safety testing?

A: Yes. Products labeled natural must be tested. The same is true for products labeled organic.

Q: It sounds like labeling and product claims are also important to understand when launching a new product?

A: Yes. Both labeling and claims are critical to get right. Making a claim will require specific testing.

Q: As an entrepreneur, how do you get started in finding a safety testing lab?

A: Finding a lab is easy.  Finding a good lab is not always easy.  There are a large cross section of labs and not all are well regarded.  A trade association like ICMAD can help you pick a safety testing lab; your contract manufacturer can as well.

Q: This all seems so complicated.  Are there any tools in the marketplace to help better understand safety testing?

A: Yes.  The Consumer Product Testing Co. has a “how-to” document, “5 Necessary Steps to Take When Launching a Cosmetics Product.”  It offers information on each of the five steps listed here.

  • Step 1: Approve the Final Formula
  • Step 2: Seek Basic Pre-Clinical Testing
  • Step 3: Perform Valuable Safety Testing
  • Step 4: Claims Support
  • Step 5: Scale-up of Pilot Batch Test
    A link to more details can be found here

Also, ICMAD offers its members webinars and other resources on safety testing. For more information on the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD), click here:  You can also call ICMAD at 800-334-2623. For more information on Consumer Product Testing Company, click here:

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