Application tests

I am Tanja Emmler and I am head of the application test division at Dermatest.

Application tests are usually performed as home-in-use tests or – for more complex designs – in-house. Studies of this type provide several benefits:

  • From the perspective of tolerability, claims can be made not only concerning the risk of potential irritation, but also of potential sensitisation
  • Test subject criteria can be precisely adapted to a prospective consumer group
  • The subjective assessment of the test subjects can be evaluated using a questionnaire at the end
  • Along with tolerability, product efficacy can also be analysed using this method. To do this, you simply add measurements to the study from various areas of interest as additional modules as required
  • Following a successful trial (minimum 20 subjects, 4 weeks of use, use at the intended site of application) you are entitled to use our 5-star seal of approval
  • In addition to classic cosmetic products, consumer goods, biocides, toys, food supplements and in fact almost everything that comes into contact with the skin can be tested. We also offer PMCF (Post Market Clinical Follow-up) studies of medical devices/medical products with skin application (non-interventional studies).
  • consumer goods, biocides, toys, food supplements and actually almost everything that comes into contact with the skin can be tested. We also offer PMCF (Post Market Clinical Follow-up) studies of medical devices/medical products with skin application (application monitoring).

Application tests under dermatological control

Many products these days, particularly cosmetics, consumer goods and medical devices, routinely come into contact with the skin, often for prolonged periods. Acceptable tolerability should therefore be a prerequisite for using these products. Since alternative test methods such as animal experiments are banned and cell culture experiments can only be transferred to humans to a limited extent, tests carried out on human subjects under medical supervision are currently meaningful and necessary from an ethical and scientific point of view.

All our tests are conducted under dermatological control since verifying tolerability is the most important aspect of our work. As well as dermatological control, we can also provide verification using specialists from other medical disciplines (such as ophthalmology, paediatrics, dentistry, gynaecology).

All tests here happen under dermatological control since verifying tolerability is the most important aspect of our work. As well as dermatological controls, we can also provide verification using specialists from other medical disciplines (such as ophthalmology, paediatrics, dentistry, gynaecology).

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Specialist medical disciplines

If products are intended for specific areas of the body (mouth, eyes, genitals) or, for example, children, we recommend not only dermatological control but also validation by a relevant specialist. Investigations can easily be incorporated into the prospective study. For example, we work alongside the following disciplines:

Ophthalmology – with products used in the vicinity of the eyes, such as mascara or eye shadow, but also eye creams and care products as well as eyelid creams, it should be assumed that traces will get into the eyes. Testing products in the vicinity of the eyes involves testing on a particularly delicate part of the body.

Paediatrics – for products for children and babies, it is particularly important to guarantee absolute safety for the smallest and youngest subjects and consumers and confirm the product’s tolerability.

Dental medicine – many cosmetic products are used in the mouth and come into prolonged contact with the mucous membranes. When a dentist is involved in the study, tolerability can be investigated more thoroughly in this regard. Similarly, specific questions regarding plaque, the gums or bacterial counts can be addressed.

Gynaecology – testing cosmetic products and consumer goods which are applied or used in intimate areas can involve a gynaecologist. This makes it possible to carry out specialist gynaecology examinations of the external and internal female genitalia.

If you don’t see the medical discipline appropriate to your product here – please get in touch with us!


Proof of efficacy and measurement methods

As well as tolerability, efficacy is an essential consideration when considering products and provides the basis for marketing claims and publications. We have a wide range of traditional measurement techniques at our disposal for investigating the efficacy of products. The aspects which can be considered here are wide-ranging – the field of anti-aging continues to play a major role, and of course we can also look at measuring anti-pollution, skin colouring, eyelash length, hair loss, skin protection, microbiome, deodorant and antiperspirant effects, and much more.

Each application test is planned individually and designed with your input. For study parameters such as the number of test subjects, exposure time, measurement intervals and measurement methods, we can create the best possible design based on your needs and preferences. Please get in touch with our study management team directly!


The start and duration of an application is strongly dependent on the study design, subject inclusion criteria and associated subject availability. The timetable is divided into the recruitment phase, the application time and preparation of the report. This timetable will be finalised once the products have been received and will be documented in the order protocol you will receive from us.

The amount of product for application testing greatly depends on the study design. Every test subject should be provided with sufficient product sample for the application period (e.g. 4 weeks). Frequency of use and size of the area of application should be taken into account. We also need retention samples and, where possible, some spare samples. For application testing, it should be noted that each individual test subject should be supplied with the product separately, and that it should be easy to use the product at home in the correct way as intended.

In addition to the product samples, we require the qualitative INCI or the composition of the test product for all tests, as well as IFRA certificates if perfume is contained and information on the microbiological quality of the final product (e.g. total bacterial count (TAMC, TYMC) and/or results from the preservation stress test. Finally we require the signed version of the study protocol that was sent by us after product arrival as order confirmation.

Yes, we can provide sample questionnaires for a wide variety of product categories, which can be modified/expanded/augmented as required.

We can offer various basic tests which can always be adapted to suit the preferred test design.

No. In addition to cosmetic products, we also test consumer goods, medical devices, food supplements, toys, biocides and many other things for skin tolerability.

Test methods


Sebum levels


Skin hydration

Cutometric assessment

Skin elasticity, skin firmness


Skin colouration, lightening, redness

Primos CR

Individual wrinkle depth


Skin thickness, skin density


transepidermal water loss / barrier

pH value

VisioFace 1000D


VISIA® System

Photos and analysis


Hair loss


Deodorant efficacy

Measuring eyelash length/growth


Hair gloss, skin gloss



Visioscan VC20 plus

Skin smoothness, roughness, flaky skin, wrinkles, virtual skin plumping



Skin protection

Our team is at your disposal

Dr. Jens Klokkers

Dr. Jens Klokkers

Study Manager Application Testing, Manager Technique and maintenance
Pia Beer

Pia Beer

Senior Study Manager Application Testing

Dr. Janina Tiemann

Senior Study Manager Application Testing

Dr. Claudia Hömme

Senior Study Manager Application Testing

Dr. Tanja Emmler

Head of Application Testing
Dr. Dominik Schmaltz

Dr. Dominik Schmaltz

Study Manager Application Testing


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