There is a supporter behind the growth of K-beauty. It is a human-applied testing agency that has verified the safety and validity of cosmetics. These institutions contributed greatly to increasing consumer confidence of 'K-Beauty'. They are working hard to further enhance the clinical evaluation technology of "K-Beauty." It is "The Korean Association of Human Skin Research Center" launched in February 2019. Baek Ji-hoon (Dermapro) and Lee Dong-hwan (GFC Life Science), chairman of the Council of Korean skin Test Organizations, gave some words about the human test organization by e-mail.
What brought to you to launch the Council?
In the second half of 2018, there was an increasing concern about the reliability of cosmetics human skin test institutions, protection of subjects, and compensation. Representatives of professional research institutes who were agonizing over this gathered at a meeting organized by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety at the end of 2018 by chance, and agreed to create a council there.
What is the purpose of the organization?
It is to discuss the protection and compensation of subjects who have been talked about since the launch of the council and come up with appropriate measures. In addition, the next purpose is to share opinions with academic exchanges to enhance the advancement and reliability of cosmetics human skin application testing institutions. (The Council's articles of association say, "It contributes to enhancing the reliability of human application tests by discussing regulations on human application tests and mutual cooperation measures to prove the safety and validity of cosmetics, etc.") △ Management of human skin application tests △ Exchange of opinions with public institutions and policy suggestions △ Exchange with domestic and foreign organizations △ Increase awareness of human applied tests △ Establishment of joint response cooperation system for marking and demonstration △ Contribution to human applied tests.)
How many members are currently active?
As of October 2020, there are nine of them. Since it was established in this field and has sufficient research experience, institutions that had mutual exchange and trust at the time of its launch(Chairman Baek Ji-hoon, Dermapro) have been working together from the beginning (As of October, Dermapro, Ellead, IEC Korea, Genecellpharm(Korea Institute of Skin Science), KC.
What kind of activities do you do?
We are establishing a cooperative system for research activities and joint response related to labeling advertisements and demonstrations such as cosmetics. In addition, we are engaged in various activities such as exchanging opinions with domestic and foreign organizations related to human application tests and conveying opinions from our institutions to help them establish policies of public institutions. In addition, we are conducting academic exchanges and technology cooperation activities for the purpose of technological development of cosmetics human skin application tests and contributing to related industries.
What did the council's self-regulation stipulate?
Recently, many test institutions are newly establishing. Some raise concerns that such rapidly established testing institutions may lack experienced or qualified professionals, facilities, institutions, and research systems, which may cause problems with test results or institutional reliability. In addition, some institutions are trying to establish themselves in the market with low test costs, raising concerns that the overall trust in cosmetics testing institutions cannot be ruled out. Accordingly, the council's self-regulation stipulates the minimum standards, methods to ensure the reliability of testing procedures and results, and the most important subjects' protection and compensation.
Does COVID-19 affect the human skin application test organization?
The number of confirmed COVID-19 people has been increasing again in the recent winter season, and this trend has not shown any sign of calming down in the short term. The prolonged COVID-19 era is reshaping the domestic cosmetics market into a home shopping and online distribution-oriented untact market. As a result, consumers' access to product information has changed rapidly from verbal to home shopping's product information or web page, and there is a growing concern about the criteria for distinguishing reliable information from non-reliable information. In other words, the importance of the role of cosmetics human skin application testing institutions that verify the safety and efficacy of cosmetics is increasing.
We're recruiting new members.
A lot of people need to add strength to do more work. In addition, more testing institutions have been established recently than in the beginning of the council, so we decided that additional recruitment of member institutions is inevitable in order to ensure external representation.
Tell us your future plans.
We are planning to finish recruiting new members by January next year. And after the meeting with the new member institutions through the regular meeting in February, we will organize the inconveniences of the council's operation through the corporateization that we have delayed so far and officially launch it. Furthermore, we will improve the reliability of cosmetics human skin application test according to the purpose of establishing the council and contribute to the advancement of related tests and industrial development through various academic activities and exchanges.