Navigation path

Cosmetic products

Cosmetic products © Streamroller - Fotolia.com

Consumers of cosmetic and personal care products are protected by strong requirements laid down in the Cosmetics Directive to ensure the safety of cosmetics and by a strong commitment by manufacturers to utilize the best science and latest available research data to substantiate the safety of a cosmetic product before it is placed on the market.

Some cosmetic products deserve special attention from the regulators due to their scientific complexity or higher potential risk for the consumers' health.

In view of safety concerns expressed in relation to the use of hair dye products, the Commission put in place an overall safety assessment strategy for hair dye substances with the aim to regulate them within the framework of the Cosmetics Directive.

The efficacy of sunscreen products and the basis on which such efficacy is claimed are important public health issues. Therefore, all UV filters used in cosmetic products placed on the EU market have to be assessed by the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety and authorized by the Commission.

Differences in regulatory frameworks can be particularly significant for so-called ' borderline products'. The term 'borderline products' refers to those products that at first sight might be difficult to classify into one or another product category, either in the same country or in different countries.

The Cosmetics Regulation contains provisions on the use in cosmetic products of substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR substances). The general principle laid down in Article 15 of the Cosmetics Regulation is that substances classified as CMR substances of category 1A, 1B or 2 are prohibited for use in cosmetics products. Derogations from this general rule are possible only subject to the conditions laid down in the above-mentioned article.