Test procedure at Dermatest

As an independent dermatology test institute, we are not swayed by the big brand names, just by outstanding products.

Dermatest® protects your skin. Not only recently, but since 1978. As an independent dermatology institute, Dermatest® guarantees you the maximum possible safety for your skin. Comprehensive and properly structured testing along with scientifically sound research make cosmetic products and consumer goods safe for you to use and their efficacy measurable.

40 years ago we were the first dermatology test institute of its type anywhere, and today we still have the largest team of experts and the most comprehensive range of tests anywhere in Europe. Our team of dermatologists, allergologists, biologists and food scientists vouchsafes our scientific expertise in the various disciplines.

So we can be fully confident that our analysis is scientifically sound and performed with a high degree of accuracy. The results based on this are always reliable. As an independent test institute, we are not swayed by the big brand names, just by outstanding products.

Test process

Dermatest 360 Cycle
Dermatest 360 Cycle

Our testing procedure

We have a wide range of test methods at our disposal for checking a product’s skin tolerability and efficacy, all based on the latest research. Our scientists carefully review which test procedures are to be used and tailor these individually to the products being tested. Consequently, we can guarantee specific analysis and meaningful results, and then confer a Dermatest® seal of approval on the product. So you can tell at a glance which products are safe.

Safety assessment

Right at the start of our testing structure is a safety assessment of the ingredients: every product sold in the EU has to undergo a safety assessment. This is where we take a very close look at what the products contain, and in what concentrations. Based on our experience over the past 40 years, we are confident of knowing whether there is a safety risk to the skin well before the first skin test takes place. Testing only continues if the product is classed as harmless in the safety assessment based on the ingredients.

Patch test

Products whose ingredients have been assessed as safe and harmless can then be tested using a patch test on the skin of a test subject. The results of this series of tests provide information about tolerability and also show whether repeat use might provoke skin irritation. This is also where differing skin types can be considered in more detail. As the first company of its type in the world, we at Dermatest® have developed a certified procedure in the field of patch testing based on the guidelines from the German Dermatological Society (DDG) and the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI), and which allows thorough and reliable assessment of the products.

In vitro analysis

Even products which cannot be tested directly on human subjects also need to be validated very thoroughly. These include, for example, products where poor efficacy might pose a health risk to the test subject, such as sunscreen preparations. With in-vitro analysis, the cosmetic product is tested on 3D skin models grown from human cells and reflecting the properties of skin in a unique way. This allows meaningful data to be obtained, which guarantees safety for any subsequent application studies on human test subjects.

Application test

In application studies, test subjects test the products, the ingredients of which have been established as safe, over a longer exposure time. They get support from our dermatologists and scientific experts and, depending on the focus of the study and the particular spot where the product is applied, will also come under the supervision of ophthalmologists, gynaecologists or dentists. This is how we ensure the safety of our test subjects and the safe conduct of the testing. The effects of the products are accurately recorded. If a product convinces us of its efficacy and tolerability over this longer exposure time, we award it the 5-star seal of approval: our guarantee that the product is harmless.


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