MSL Solution Providers - VeganSure

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Approved Vegan Beauty Products Testing Solution

MSL have spent over 24 months developing an alternative testing solution to test vegan cosmetic products using alternative dehydrated culture media which are totally free from any animal by-products. From our extensive research, a Vegan Beauty Products testing solution was required and our team of in-house specialists aimed to find one which eliminated the need for animal-based products being used in the process.

All microbiological tests require dehydrated culture media (DCM). They are a critical part of the process along with the neutralisation step, there are very few exceptions.

The main reasons for developing in-house test methods which do not compromise the vegan lifestyle when testing cosmetic products are:

  • Vegans are currently unaware that DCM used in the test is derived from some form of animal proteins. Research shows that a large number of Vegans would prefer a more ethical solution to testing Vegan beauty products.
  • No other laboratory is offering this solution

Development of our own in-house DCM formulations give the laboratory greater flexibility and commercially, these complex formulations are not available and if they were, would be significantly more expensive than the current non-vegan ones which are available. MSL have scoured the world to look for acceptable quality alternatives to replace the animal-derived traditional ingredients. The number of ingredients we are using to achieve the best results come from a plant based sources or synthetic equivalents.

We have been audited by the Vegan Society who have investigated our alternative vegan testing methods and they are happy to endorse our alternative solution. Vegans now have a choice. To this end, they have certified MSL (see certificate).

Technological Objectives

The research involved the following:

I. Searching for the right ingredients – most of which are commonly procured from plant-based origin was somewhat difficult, quality is of paramount importance and it took many months of trialing different alternatives to get to the ones we could finally use.

II. Blending/mixing the ingredients to ensure consistency for each batch made. – The chemical mixtures were formulated and tested over many months to establish the correct consistency. pH and clarity is an issue. These formulations were then tested against all the most common preservative/active components currently on the market using positive and negative control methodology. 

III. Validating- This involved checking that there were no toxic consequences of the formulation against the organisms commonly used in all our testing both wild and typed strains were used, again this work was carried out over many months and on many occasions.

IV. Lastly - Comparison of the current commercial standard non–Vegan DCM Vs our comparable version of Vegan DCM gave significantly better results. (See validation)

Technological Advances

At the onset of this project, the choice of method which utilised vegan alternatives is a breakthrough and is not available from any other laboratory currently as it stands. MSL are the first to offer this alternative solution specifically for cosmetic products which have vegan claims. As testing methodology has become more accessible and consumers are more aware of their ethical responsibility when they choose a vegan lifestyle, it is a welcome alternative and provides the manufacturer a choice which was previously not available.

Key Advances are:

•        An alternative vegan solution to a traditionally non-vegan test

Technological Uncertainties


The uncertainties we had to overcome were whether the new systems would work and be comparable in outcomes to the traditional non-vegan route. Also would the companies who produce “vegan beauty products” choose to utilise this solution and whether our customers would be agreeable to deviations in standard test protocols. This discussion took place between our laboratory and some of our key customers who have Vegan claims who could benefit.

The common perception of most of our customers was that there was very little understood and we had to explain in detail the relevance, we were asking our customers to provide us with their most prized information. Once this was carried out, there was overwhelming support.