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Cosmetic Claims Substantiation



Course Summary

A collaboration between the Society of Cosmetic Chemists and IBA, this one-day in-person CEP course will present examples of major types of claims and recommend procedures to substantiate them.  Puffery and establishment claims will be compared.  The distinction between express and implied claims will be defined.  

Claims are explicit or implicit statements about a product.  They communicate a benefit or a “reason to believe” to influence purchase. Claims are the backbone of all consumer and professional communication, and they are integral parts of the product proposition. They help build the brand equity and contribute significantly to a stronger business result.

A ‘reasonable basis’ of claims support must be maintained to comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandate. Claims can be supported by ingredient characteristics, objective measures of products and humans, and subjective or consumer evaluations.  Ingredients are often evaluated by their suppliers, and study reports go with the ingredient purchase.  Objective measurements of skin or hair products may include instruments or expert evaluators.  Subjective measurements include consumer studies and sensory panels.  The development of a claims package is the result of collaboration between marketing, regulatory, clinical and consumer research, and legal teams.
Fortifying your products’ claims portfolio to withstand potential challenge from competition, The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs and consumer lawsuits will be discussed.  Real world examples will be used for participants to dissect actual claims challenges and decisions.

Who Should Attend

This course will be useful for scientists, marketing professionals, salespeople and legal and regulatory professionals.  Additionally, small business owners and developers of personal care products will gain valuable insights concerning cosmetic claims and their substantiation.

Course Outline

What is this product for?  Developing consumer compelling claims
How to get from the voice of the consumer to compelling product claims.

What are different types of claims (with examples)

  • OTC monograph claim
  • Product property
  • Sensory
  • Endorsement/Authority or preference
  • Puffery
  • Comparative claims 

Hot Industry Claims

  • CBD
  • Ingredient based claims such as organic, clean, natural, gluten free
  • Microbiome  

Prove it!  Supporting your claim
Claims need to be supported by evidence; the process of ‘proving a claim’ is known as substantiation.  

  • Clinical studies and lab testing  
  • Consumer studies 
  • Surveys conducted with professionals (“#1 Dermatologist recommended”) or consumer preference 
  • Literature evidence (“There are over 20,000 pores on your face”)
  • Formula composition, ingredients studies and patents. 

Standing up to the Challenge: Defense of claims 

  • Regulatory climate: Does where the claim is made make a difference?
  • Lanham act challenges or lawsuits
  • NAD challenges

How would you rule? Real world example workshop
Advertising examples will be used. Teams will discuss the challenged claims and will present their rulings. The actual decisions will be compared and contrasted.

Note: In addition to the live instruction, course registrants will also receive a PDF copy of the course slides.

Instructors: Sidney Hornby, MS & Martha Tate, PhD

Format: SCC In-Person CEP Course

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 
(9:00am - 4:30pm PT)

During California Suppliers' Day


Long Beach Convention Center (Room 103)
300 E Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802


This course will take place on October 24, 2023, the day before the California Suppliers' Day Exhibition Show (October 25-26, 2023). 

The registration link above is for the CEP course only. You will need to register separately on the event website if you would also like to attend California Suppliers' Day.



Early Bird (Expires 09/22/23)

  • $390 - SCC Member
  • $520 - Non-Member
  • $240 – SCC Junior or Student Member


  • $440 - SCC Member
  • $570 - Non-Member
  • $265 – SCC Junior or Student Member

Registration price includes breakfast and lunch, as well as a selection of coffee and other beverages throughout the day. View our CEP Course Pricing and Refund Policy.

Note: companies registering 5+ SCC members for this course receive $25 off per registration. Companies registering 10+ SCC members for this course receive $50 off per registration. Discounted group registrations need to occur during the same online transaction. If you would like to submit a group registration of 5+ or 10+, or have any other questions about this event, please contact us at

If also applying for SCC membership, please allow up to five business days for application processing. Member pricing will not be in effect for CEP registrations until after the membership application is approved. 


About the Instructors

Sidney Hornby, MS

Sidney Hornby Consulting, LLC

Sidney Hornby, MS is a consultant and president of Sidney Hornby Consulting, LLC. and is recognized for her ability to develop creative clinical or in-vitro product testing strategies to support consumer compelling efficacy claims to drive business results.

Prior to forming Sidney Hornby Consulting she was Associate Director, Medical/Clinical Research for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.  She was recognized with the prestigious Johnsons Medal for developing a unique claim support strategy for a key anti aging product which drove the skin care business results.  She was also a 3-time recipient of the R&D Excellence Award recognizing innovative research and claims development.  

Sidney Hornby earned her BS and MS in Chemistry from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ. There she also completed PhD course work in Chemical Engineering.  Sidney Hornby has been an adjunct member of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and has authored numerous publications and scientific posters presented to the AAD and the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, specializing in anti-aging, skin barrier, hair, nails and dry skin.  She has also served as President and Treasurer of the California chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.


Martha Tate, PhD

Tate Science, LLC

Martha Tate, PhD is a consultant for Tate Science, LLC.  and has 30 years of experience in cosmetics claims, and skin and hair research.  Martha represented the US Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) on the Executive Committee of the Praesidium of the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists.  During Martha’s two terms on the SCC’s Committee on Scientific Affairs, she served as Chair of that committee.  She also served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Cosmetic Science.  She is active on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Biophysics and Skin Imaging (ISBS).  

At Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Martha’s research supported claims for a wide variety of products (infant diapered skin, adult care, elder skin, feminine care, work wear, facial and bath tissue). She was Manager of Claims Substantiation for skin and hair care products at L’Oréal.  She is known for hair research done while a scientist at TRI/Princeton.  Her education includes a Ph.D. in Textile Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.S. from the University of Georgia, and B.S. from Mercer University.  She had a postdoctoral fellowship in ethnic hair at Textile Research Institute at Princeton University.