In this article, the results of 3 studies on 2 hand cleansers (products A and B) are analysed. Three different test models (the patch test, the forearm wash test and the use test) are used to obtain information on the skin irritancy of these 2 products. Test reactivity was assessed by clinical scores and bioengineering methods such as corneometry for skin moisture, transepidermal water loss measurements for barrier function and chromametry for erythema. A correlating trend of product A being more aggressive than product B could be confirmed in all 3 studies and was statistically significant in the patch-testing series. Distinction of the results was dependent on the test protocol employed. Models for testing cleansing preparations should be chosen carefully, depending on the hypothesis to be evaluated.