Cosmetics QC Testing – Technical Information
Test: Total Viable Count
Also known as: TVC, microbial count, bacterial count, fungal count, microbial limits test
This is a quality control test, it is carried out to tell you how many micro-organisms are present in your product. Most cosmetic products are not made sterile, a low level of contamination can therefore be acceptable.
Typically this test would be carried out on each batch as it is made.
MCS Test Reference: TMMCS1
Quantity of test sample required: 5 g (minimum)
Total Test Time: 4 days
The TVC test is often carried out with tests for the absence of certain objectionable organisms. The recommendation of ISO 17516: 2014 (the Cosmetics Microbiological Limits document) is to test for the absence of S aureus, Ps aeruginosa, E coli and C albicans. We can carry out this testing for you, see here for more details.
Send samples to the address at the bottom of this page accompanied by a Test Request Form. Where possible all samples are tested on the day that they are received.
Samples are usually tested in their finished packaging but could also be tested as a ‘bulk’ product sent in a clean sample container.
Written reports are issued on completion of the test. These results will be given as the number of organisms (bacteria / yeast / mould) per g (or ml) of your product. Basic identifications of recovered organisms will be given.
Full identifications can be carried out if required.