ECARF – Europe‘s Allergy Researchers

ECARF – Europe‘s Allergy Researchers

Ecarf QualitätssiegelThe ECARF Insti­tute is an orga­ni­za­tion within the Euro­pean Cen­ter for Allergy Research Foun­da­tion based at the Char­ité in Berlin, Ger­many. The Foun­da­tion sup­ports sev­eral sci­en­tific research groups at the Char­ité. We inter­viewed Health Man­ager, Matthias Colli.


What is the dri­ving force behind ECARF?

For many years, aller­gies have been on the rise. In Europe, about 30 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tions are affected. Approx­i­mately 25 mil­lion Euro­peans suf­fer from neu­ro­der­mati­tis, more than 50 mil­lion from hand eczemas. Only a mere ten per­cent of allergy suf­fer­ers cur­rently are receiv­ing ade­quate treat­ment – in spite of the fact that the effects of aller­gies on health and qual­ity of life are dras­tic. The basis for suc­cess­ful treat­ment of patients is edu­ca­tion: about aller­gies, sci­ence and research. And that’s where ECARF comes in.

What is unique about ECARF-certified products?

The ECARF qual­ity seal intends to make daily life eas­ier and more man­age­able for allergy suf­fer­ers. The seal empha­sizes the fact that a prod­uct or a ser­vice specif­i­cally addresses the needs of those affected, with a focus on prac­ti­ca­bil­ity and user friendliness.

Who exactly awards the qual­ity seal?

The qual­ity seal “ECARF allergy-friendly qual­ity tested” is awarded by the Euro­pean Cen­ter for Allergy Research Foun­da­tion. The asso­ci­a­tion with the Allergy-Center-Charité brings together the spe­cial exper­tise behind this qual­ity seal and cur­rent med­ical research.

You test cos­metic prod­ucts to deter­mine how well they are tol­er­ated, as with Der­ma­Care from ADA. How does that work?

One aspect we test is, for exam­ple, whether a man­u­fac­turer has avoided using ingre­di­ents typ­i­cally used in the indus­try which may be prob­lem­atic for allergy suf­fer­ers. The dosage of the ingre­di­ents has to be below the respec­tive crit­i­cal limit estab­lished in exper­i­ments or clin­i­cal tests. Aller­genic sub­stances cat­e­gor­i­cally must be at lower lev­els. Fur­ther­more, clin­i­cal proof for these lev­els has to be pro­duced. The for­mu­la­tion, i.e. the cos­metic prod­uct, is then used in an appli­ca­tion study on 20 patients with acute neu­ro­der­mati­tis to deter­mine whether they can tol­er­ate it. If none of the par­tic­i­pants shows any dete­ri­o­ra­tion of their skin con­di­tion, the prod­uct is regarded as safe for allergy sufferers.


Thank you very much, Mr. Colli, and we wish you con­tin­ued suc­cess in your work.

Please visit  to find out more about ECARF’s work.

Hilde Hutch­ings con­ducted the interview.


Please also read the fol­low­ing articles:

How Dan­ger­ous are Cos­met­ics Prod­ucts? / Skin Irri­ta­tion, Aller­gies & Co. / Dan­ger­ous Fal­lacy: Nat­ural cos­met­ics do not cause aller­gies / Sen­si­tive skin? A rel­e­vant topic for hotels! / New EU Cos­met­ics Reg­u­la­tions in the Fall 2014

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