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What's about the NCSTOX database?

The NCSTOX database is a predictive tool containing a mass of information aiming to determine the toxicological profile of Natural Complex Substances (NCSs) – Plants extracts used in cosmetics. It provides data about the potential risks of 25 000 molecules contained in plants for the following toxicological endpoints:
  • Mutagenicity (Ames)
  • Genotoxicity (Micronucleus)
  • Systemic toxicity
  • Cutaneous sensitization.

The innovative feature of the approach adopted is based on the fact that:

  • The safety of the finished product depends on the safety of the ingredients, in accordance with Cosmetic Regulation EC 1223/2009;
  • A botanical extract is considered to be a mixture of natural molecules.

The methodology associates:Toxicological keywords

  • Specific in silico predictive models
  • Bibliography by an innovative multi-step text mining approach for semantic annotation of documents
  • Joint expertise of Toxicologists and Pharmacognosists
  • Development of analytical methods

Evaluation relies on the concept of the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) allowed in risk assessment for cosmetics as the natural molecules of extracts are present at trace levels in cosmetic formulations.


How does it work?

With a simple phytochemical analysis, it is possible to qualify and quantify the molecules in the extract.
The database then provides access to safety data on each molecule so that the toxicological evaluation of the extract can be carried out.

(1) Based on the TTC approach (Toxicological Threshold of Concern) and DST (Dermal Sensitisation Threshold),
the database enables to determine the safe use threshold of your extract in a cosmetic product.


Other developments in the database

  • Identification of botanical data
  1. In addition to toxicological data, the NCSTOX database provides information based on a cross-correlation between molecules and plants/parts of plants. 
  2. Users can find which molecules are present in a plant as well as in which plants they can find determined molecules.
  • An automated self-predictive tool makes the database unlimited!
  1. When a molecule is not among the 25,000 molecules listed in the database, the user can run the integrated in silico models himself to predict the toxicity of the constituents of the extract.
  • Analytical methods
  • for identifying and semi-quantifying the molecules and their molecular groups present in an extract and to measure critical compounds  (potentially genotoxic substances and allergens) on dry extract.
  • A formulation tool 
  • to determine the safety margins of the molecules of an extract used in a specific cosmetic product also taking into account the prediction of the cutaneous penetration.

The NCSTOX database provides the cosmetic community with animal-free safe levels of use for any natural molecule, opens innovation for new natural ingredients and responds to the enthusiasm of consumers for natural products and a high expectation for their safety.

  This project is self-financed by the supply chain, Manufacturers and Users of Natural Complex Substances:

Alban Muller International, Chanel, Greentech, IES labo, Lucas Meyer cosmetics, LVMH Recherche, Pierre Fabre dermo-cosmétique, Pileje, Prod’hyg, Provital, SBM Développement, Seppic, Seqens, Sisley,

and supported by the associations:

the Botanical alliance and UNITIS.

RTD-Performers were selected for their high expertise in a specific field:

Istituto Mario Negri (in silico), GreenPharma (database & analytical part), University of Manchester (datamining) and University of Paris-Descartes (toxicological assessment).


A new phase of development of the www.ncstox.com is under preparation with the aim of expanding the possibilities of the database. If you are interested in participating in this project or for more information, please contact jalirol@unitis.org.






NCS TOX Project - Press review


Last update : 24/05/24
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