Claims & coronavirus: How social distancing has changed the clinical testing of cosmetics

Covid-19 has impacted the performance of cosmetic clinical tests and cosmetic product development generally. But it has also accelerated digital strategies, as Benoit Latouche, President of IDEA TESTS Group, explains

The onset of the Covid-19 epidemic and the containment of nearly half of the planet created an economic and societal shockwave globally.

Of course, some industries were more severely impacted than others.

The decline in activity in the cosmetics industry is undeniable, initiated by the closure of points of sale including perfume chains, independent retailers, hairdressing salons, beauty centres and others.

For points of sale authorised to remain open, sales benefited hygiene products (soaps and shower gels) in supermarkets to the detriment of other categories, such as make-up products, perfumes and care, confinement having generally caused a simplification of beauty routines.

The CROs (contract research organisations) were also severely affected, especially those carrying out clinical trials, since clinical centres could not receive any volunteers from the public during lockdown.

The IDEA TESTS Group, like other CROs, completely closed access for volunteers to its clinical centres in France and Romania.

However, the company's top priority was to finalise ongoing studies for its clients.

To do this, IDEA set up a system for delivering products to homes, as well as video consultations via smartphone or computer.

If a second wave leads to a new period of confinement, the company is ready to react instantly.

The IDEA TESTS Group also offers microbiology, in vitro testing and regulatory consulting services. These services were able to remain operational, with some adjustments established and consequences in terms of production time, resulting from the health security measures that had to be implemented.

Deconfinement has authorised the resumption of clinical testing activities, but under strict sanitary conditions, both for employees and for volunteers.

This has resulted in a complete reorganisation of our services (which has, obviously, been very cumbersome to implement) at IDEA's sites in France and Romania.

In this article, I will outline the main impacts, which are important for contractors to understand, in order to better plan their future tests.

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