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What is the Skin Health Alliance?
The Skin Health Alliance (SHA) is an independent not-for-profit organisation working with international dermatologists, researchers, scientists and industry with the common interest of promoting healthy skin. The SHA awards professional accreditation to companies, services and brands seeking specialist independent dermatological endorsement for their product research.
Why has the SHA been established?
Approximately five years ago, a piece of consumer research focused on how some manufacturers were making unsubstantiated dermatological claims around efficacy and implied safety without the necessary research to qualify them, effectively confusing the consumer. The skin industry and regulators met with leading dermatologists to discuss the issue and seek a solution. Therefore the SHA – which has been approximately five years in the making – was established to bring together independent international dermatologists and industry to create robust standards which consumers could understand.
What is the difference between ‘dermatologically tested’ currently found on many products, and the SHA’s new ‘dermatologically accredited’ mark?
No one apart from the manufacturer knows what ‘dermatologically tested’ refers to specifically. The SHA’s ‘dermatologically accredited’ mark is an independent assurance that products have met a standardised set of skin safety requirements that are not set by the manufacturer or brand, but which have been agreed upon by leading dermatologists and skin scientists.
Why is the new SHA accreditation significant for consumers?
SHA dermatological accreditation is the new skincare industry must have. At a glance, it gives consumers the reassurance and confidence that a brand takes its scientific and clinical research seriously and that the promotion of healthy skin is of paramount importance. Wherever consumers see the ‘dermatologically accredited’ mark, they know that a product has been tested to meet the rigorous criteria of the SHA which means that it is skin-safe and that any claims are evidenced by robust research.
What does SHA accreditation look like?
A SHA accredited product is easy to identify through the heart-shaped logo, with the words ‘dermatologically accredited’ written underneath.
This mark will commonly be seen on product packaging, and consumers can check this easily when they pick up a product in store. The logo will also be seen in out of store advertising including TV advertising, print advertising, direct marketing and outdoor advertising, as well as product and brand websites.
Can any product gain SHA accreditation?
Yes, as long as a manufacturer submits all the evidence and scientific data required. The SHA has four minimum testing benchmarks against which submissions will be reviewed. Additionally the SHA will verify any claims made with regards a product’s efficacy to ensure that the consumer is buying an effective product which is safe to use on the skin. The SHA awards the professional dermatological accreditation mark to those companies’ products and services where scientific and clinical research achieve or supersede the skin safety criteria as requested by the Skin Health Alliance Accreditation Committee.
Do brands and manufacturers have to pay for SHA accreditation?
Yes, there is a fee to pay for the review process conducted by the SHA Accreditation Committee. Should a brand be successful and accreditation granted, there are also licensing costs associated with the use of the SHA logo
How independent is the SHA if it receives monies from brands?
The SHA is a not-for-profit independent organisation, which is self-funding. It does not rely on any single means of financial support. So while the SHA does charge brands for providing its unique accreditation, profits derived from this are donated to registered charities and foundations around the globe that support skin disease and skin cancer research.
What does the SHA do with the funds it receives from companies who pay for SHA accreditation?
In working with the SHA, brands know they are making a contribution to helping around a billion people around the world who suffer physically and psychologically from skin disease.
Annually, the SHA will distribute profits to worldwide charities and causes thereby funding dermatological research into more effective treatments and potential cures.