Acne Study

Description of the Project

I have a project proposal from a group of students in my Science 10 Honours class, and we are unsure of the ethical considerations for their proposal:

The group, three young ladies, would like to test a variety of acne creams/products on themselves.  They are not proposing to test on anyone outside their group - what forms/releases should they complete in order to undertake their research?


Policy Participation of Humans in Research - Low Risk states, in part:

"1.1 A Low Risk Project - involves conditions where the risks of harm are not greater or more likely than those encountered in everyday life."

"3.4 Absorption through the skin

 Projects that involve absorption through the skin must satisfy the rules for a Low Risk project and involve a risk of harm no greater than that encountered in everyday life. Thus a project comparing different ways of removing bacteria using different brands of hand sanitizer is legal. A project that involves putting benzene on the skin is not."  These students are using over-the-counter acne products, which they can buy without any constraints, so that the "risks of harm" is not greater than in "everyday life".   

Youth Science Canada Ethics Rules are the same regardless of whether the human participant is the experimenter herself or others. They may use only over-the-counter items.  They may not use items available by prescription only.

The students must write a Letter of Information and fill in the Informed Consent Form.  This ensures that their parents are fully informed.  These forms are attached.  They must also submit Form 4.1A Participation of Humans - Low Risk, which they can download here:

This is a group of three, and so this project is not eligible to compete for a place at the CWSF, because projects there are restricted to single or pair projects.