The ALT-SPF partnership evaluates alternative sunscreen testing methods

Since July 2021, a consortium of users and developers of sun protection factor (SPF) tests has been identifying, characterising, and evaluating alternative sunscreen testing methods against the current gold standard.


The current international standard for SPF testing, ISO 24444:2019, involves testing on human volunteers. This is the only accepted method, but the procedure is invasive, complex, time consuming, and costly.

The cosmetics industry has been working in the past years to find suitable alternative methods. However, analysing and characterising new methods for public use demands sophisticated analytical tools. Also, comparing alternative SPF data against the gold standard requires a solid set of in vivo SPF data and thus represents a significant experimental effort that should not be repeated for each alternative method.

This is how, in 2018, the idea for the ALT-SPF initiative was born.



The ALT-SPF partnership seeks to facilitate the development of new testing methods that are less invasive, more precise, and more cost-effective than ISO 24444:2019.


ALT-SPF will test a set of 32 sunscreen samples using the current gold standard – ISO 24444:2019 – and five alternative methods that include in vitro, in silico and non-invasive in vivo testing.

Expected results

For each alternative method included in the study, test results are compared to those obtained from the same samples with the current method of reference. Alternative methods are then evaluated and characterised using statistically proven models.

29 partners


10 countries

32 sunscreen samples

5 alternative testing methods

Call for Test Samples for the ALT-SPF Consortium Test

We are seeking partners who can donate sunscreen test samples for a large ‘ring study’ that aims to compare in vivo SPF values from several alternative SPF methodologies to those from the International Standard ISO24444 – partners could be either within or outside the...

News – The ALT-SPF project has been officially launched

Brussels, 22 July 2021 PRESS RELEASE   The ALT-SPF partnership will evaluate alternative sunscreen testing methods   A consortium of users and developers of sun protection factor (SPF) tests will identify, characterise, and evaluate alternative sunscreen...