Western expansion? What APAC beauty brands need to know about testing before exporting to Europe and the US

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Eurofins highlights the regulations and necessary assessments beauty brands from Asia Pacific need to undergo. ©GettyImages
Eurofins highlights the regulations and necessary assessments beauty brands from Asia Pacific need to undergo. ©GettyImages

Related tags: Regulation, Apac

Cosmetic testing firm Eurofins has highlighted the regulations and necessary assessments beauty brands from Asia Pacific need to undergo before charting its European or North American expansion.

Eurofins is an international laboratory provider that offers a full range of testing services for various industries, including beauty and personal care, through 26 laboratories around the world.

The company has been seeing more and more cosmetic brands from the APAC region seeking to expand into Europe and North America.

“We are seeing many Asian brands moving into Europe and the US. We help them through the different steps they have to take before they can sell in the market,”​ said Sarah Bachir-Levy marketing manager, cosmetics, Eurofins.

According to Bachir-Levy, toxicology tests are becoming increasingly important.

“This is a very huge part in Europe, especially right now because safety is something very important as there are more educated consumers who have access to many mobile applications that can give them the information,” ​she said.

Bachir-Levy elaborated that brands are expected to produce a dossier that proves the product is safe for humans and that claims can be backed up.

“You need the toxicology work to say that all the elements you have in the same formula do not interact with each other and is safe for humans. In France, the authorities can ask for all your documents to prove the products are safe.”

Depending on the type of studies needed, toxicology testing can take from one to two months to complete.

Bachir-Levy noted that companies need to stay abreast with frequent regulatory changes.

“Right now, in Europe there’s an added UV filter that cannot be used anymore and there is a discussion on phenoxyethanol. There have been some cases of skin irritation, so they are working on it to limit the use and find another solution.”

Aside from toxicology testing, Bachir-Levy said brand can go through in-vitro and clinical testing as well as analytical testing. Analytical testing, she added, proves the products do not have any impurities, heavy metals or allergens.

Trends and changes

Bachir-Levy noted that more companies are beginning to request for environmental safety tests.

“The trend now is to test safety not just for human but for the environment as well. We see a lot of consumer concern for sun screen products and their ocean and coral safety. But now globally almost all the biggest key players are asking for ecotoxicity tests and biodegradability tests for all the products in their catalogue.”

As consumers in the US and Europe are becoming more aware and concerned over these environmental issues, the company will advise APAC brands to consider these tests for the respective markets.

Moving forward, companies will also need to pay more attention to free-from claims, she added.

“There are more and more specific guidelines on all the free-from claims. We really have to be careful about that. We cannot use it so easily and have to respect some of the elements of the regulation. This is the same for hypoallergenic claims as well.”

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