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Cosmetics Pathogen Test – Technical Information

Test: Test for Specific Micro-organisms

Also known as: TSM, absence of pathogens test, absence of S aureus, Ps aeruginosa, E coli and C albicans


This is a quality control test that will show if any of the target harmful bacteria are present in your product.  The ISO 17516: 2014 Cosmetics – Microbiological Limits document requires testing for the presence of Staph aureus, E coli, Ps aeruginosa and Candida albicans.  For products that are aimed at sensitive areas (eyes, mucous membranes) or sensitive users (under 3 year olds) these tests are particularly recommended.  Typically these tests would be carried out on each batch as it is made.

MCS Test Reference: TMPh6

Quantity of test sample required: 30 g

Total Test Time: 5 working days

Companion Tests:

This is usually carried out in conjunction with a TVC.

Sending samples:

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 are given for each organism as ‘Present’ or ‘Not detected’.