Frequently asked questions for volunteers (FAQ)

What does Dermatest do and what is a volunteer?
Dermatest was founded in 1978 by the dermatologist and allergist Dr Werner Voss and has been operating as an independent dermatological service provider for international cosmetics manufacturers for more than 30 years. With the help of volunteers, we conduct customised dermatological skin tests with academic objectivity and within a short time frame. ‘Volunteer’ is the designation used to describe a person participating in the clinical trials.

Why is testing necessary?
The cosmetics industry is continually launching new products whose skin-tolerance levels need to be tested on volunteers as part of clinical trials. This requisite is laid down in official guidelines for the protection of the consumer. In addition, any claims pertaining to a product, such as ‘for a smoother skin’, ‘kind to the skin’ or ‘moisturising’ have to be scientifically proven.

What is submitted for testing?
All products manufactured by the cosmetic industry that come into contact with our skin in any shape or form, such as body creams, nail-varnish remover, face masks, talcum powder, soap, shower gels, detergents, sunscreens, plasters, make-up remover, foot creams, baby lotions and much more.

How are the tests carried out?
The people who participate in our trials are not required to ingest any substances. Nothing is injected or implanted subcutaneously (under the skin). All cosmetic tests are performed on the surface of the skin – the test site is usually somewhere on a person’s back, the upper arm or forearm. Facial products need to be applied to the face or around the eyes. All trials are conducted under the supervision of our experienced dermatologists or other specialists. Studies involving products that call for a test site close to the eyes are also monitored by an ophthalmologist.

How long do the tests last?
The duration of the test depends on the client’s requirements. Generally, the average length of a trial is somewhere between three days and four weeks.

What health risks are involved?
Skin irritation, redness or itching may occur but these symptoms normally clear up very quickly once the testing period is over. All our tests are monitored by our dermatologists, so expert advice and skin treatment is always available. In the event of a very violent reaction, the trial can be discontinued at any time either at the volunteer’s request or on the dermatologist’s recommendation.

How much do I get paid?
What you earn depends on the duration and nature of the trial to be conducted. It also depends on how often you have to make your way to our premises and how long you need to stay.

Can I decide which tests I want to take part in?
Even after you have joined our pool of volunteers, participation in the individual trials is entirely voluntary at all times. There is no obligation to take part.

Where can I register and who will answer any other queries I may have?
If you would like to receive more detailed information on becoming a Dermatest volunteer, please get in touch with us straight away.


Dermatest GmbH
Engelstraße 37
48143 Münster, Germany
+49 251 481637-0
+49 251 481637-66


Test Person Hotline

+49 251 / 481 637 69

Monday till Friday
09:00 am - 04:00 pm