Skin Health Program


The Skin Health Program (SHP) recognizes skin care products that are fragrance-free or unscented, have low potential for irritation and do not contain the most common allergens. The approved products are licensed to display our logo and statement for which a licensing fee is paid.  The funds generated support research and public and professional dermatological education.

In 2013, in keeping with our mission to provide Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) members and the public with excellence in education, dermatologic knowledge and patient advocacy, while also providing a service to both consumers and the corporate community, the CDA developed the Skin Health Program (SHP).

The Skin Health Program’s framework is based, in large part, on the CDA’s longstanding and successful Sun Protection Program (SPP).  However, the scope of the Skin Health Program is much broader. The SHP was created to effectively fill a need expressed to us by consumers and industry for the development of an effective evidence-based program that reflects the most recent available dermatological science. The SHP will help people navigate the variety of products on the market designed to enhance and maintain skin health.

The Skin Health Program, led by its Expert Advisory Board, is a CDA initiative that is designed to help guide consumers in selecting healthy skin care products for themselves and their families. Backed by objective medical specialists, the Skin Health Program also provides expert advice for the maintenance of healthy skin, hair and nails. The program’s seal of recognition specifically identifies products that are fragrance-free or unscented, have a low potential for irritation and do not contain the most common contact allergens.

For more information, please contact Jack Gorman, Finance and Contracts Administrator, 613-738-1748; jgorman@dermatology.ca.

The CDA requires all manufacturers interested in participating in the Skin Health Program to complete an application form for each product they wish to have associated with this initiative. The application forms are to be submitted directly to the CDA, along with all relevant independent laboratory evidence and application fees, with the following information:

  • Product information (such as English/French name);
  • Applicant information (with specific contact name);
  • Name of Canadian importer (if the product is manufactured outside of Canada);
  • Product formulation information;
  • Product must be fragrance free or unscented;
  • Test results to prove that the product complies with the program’s criteria, including:
    • non-irritancy and hypoallergenicity tests (i.e. HRIPT);
    • safety test (i.e. MSDS tests or a Certificate of Safety from a certified independent laboratory);
    • non-comedogenicity tests (for leave-on facial products only);
    • For product lines that have variations due to tint/colour the noted testing will be required for the master formulation only.  Addendums will be required for each variation of the product due to tint/colour which indicates the change in the ingredient listing.  A statement of attestation affirming that the only change in the product formulation from the master formulation is due to a variation in colour/tint will be required.
  • A list of all relevant certifications under which each individual laboratory operates;
  • A list of the standards complied with in the manufacture of the product; and,
  • Proposed product labeling and advertising.

No application will be reviewed until the application fee has been received and all the required information has been submitted.

As soon as a product has been reviewed by a member (or members) of our Expert Advisory Board, and deemed to have met the SHP criteria, a license agreement will be sent to the applicant to be reviewed, signed and return to the CDA along with the appropriate licensing fee. Once this final stage of the application has been completed the applicant will then have the right to bear the SHP’s seal of recognition on the approved product, while also having the option to include the following statement(s) of recognition on all product labeling, packaging, print or electronic media and advertising materials:

  • The full statement which may be used in association with the SHP Logo:

Consumers can benefit by using skin care products and cosmetic products that do not contain specific ingredients that have the potential to cause irritation and negative reactions of the skin. This product meets the criteria of The Canadian Dermatology Association’s Skin Health Program.

  • The short statement which may be used in association with the SHP Logo:

This product meets the criteria of the Canadian Dermatology Association’s Skin Health Program.

It is the commitment of the CDA to review each product application within a 4 week timeframe, with expedited reviews, should it be requested by the applicant, to be conducted within 2 weeks (for an additional fee).  Please note that application fees are non-refundable.

Applications, whose products have been reviewed and approved by the SHP Expert Advisory Board, will then be issued a three-year license agreement for the right to use the SHP seal of recognition, along with the aforementioned statement(s) of recognition on all product labeling, packaging, print or electronic media and advertising materials.

Each product license fee is payable in the following 3 installments:

  1. First payment is due upon signing the license agreement;
  2. Second payment is due on the first anniversary; and, the
  3. Third payment is due after the second anniversary, with an option to renew.

For information on fees please contact Jack Gorman, Finance and Contracts Administrator, 613.738.1748 ext. 231; jgorman@dermatology.ca.