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Before a new cosmetic or skincare product can be launched for sale, the mixture in its container (the formulation) has to be tested and checked in a number of different ways to ensure that the consumers who use it will not come to any harm. This process, which is often very complex and time consuming, involves checking a large number of different physical and chemical properties of the formulation.

Checks are also carried out to ensure that any claims made about the product, for example, the sun protection factor (SPF) for a suncream or the amount of moisturization for a skincare product, are fair, honest and truthful. Indeed, these checks are part of the covenant between brand owners and their customers to ensure that products do exactly what they say they're going to do. There is also a legal requirement for these checks to be made.

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