Abstract Cultured human skin cells are a potentially useful model for skin irritancy testing. We have investigated the use of human skin fibroblasts for in vitro screening for skin toxicity. To assess the cytotoxic effects of surfactants, cell viability was measured by the NRU (neutral red uptake) assay and AB (Alamar blue) assay as in vitro methods. The skin irritation potential of surfactants by human skin patch test was assessed as in vivo methods. The close relationship was found between AB assay with human skin fibroblasts and human patch test (r=0.867). There was a relatively good agreement between the NRU and in vivo patch test (r=0.648). These results suggest that AB and NRU assay using cultured human fibroblast could be predictable methods for the irritancy of various surfactants in human.