EU Improves Consumer Protection for Natural Cosmetics

EU-Kosmetik-Verordnung tritt am 1. Mai 2020 in Kraft

Allergens fragrance labelling, nanomaterials, endocrine disruptors – the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) of the European Union currently has a number of open mandates that could potentially lead to changes in the EU Cosmetics Regulation. One update will already come into force on 1 May 2020.

With Regulation 2019/1966 from 27 November 2019, the European Commission is updating the list of substances that are banned in cosmetic products, the list of substances that cosmetic products may contain only under specified restrictions and the list of preservatives authorized in cosmetic products. This pertains to, among other substances, salicylic acid (2-hydroxybenzoic acid), which is classified as a CMR substance of category 2 and used in natural cosmetics mainly to combat skin blemishes.

The use of salicylic acid remains allowed in washable hair products in a concentration of up to 3.0% and up to 2.0% in other products. What is new is that, from 1 May 2020, body lotions, eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner, lipsticks, roller stick deodorants and oral products are exempt from this permit. The use in products for children under three years of age and in applications that could lead to lung contact through inhalation will also be prohibited. These restrictions also apply to the use of salicylic acid as a preservative, which otherwise remains permitted in a concentration of 0.5%.

Changes in allergens fragrance labeling regulations expected

Changes can also be expected this year with regard to allergens fragrance labelling. Currently 26 allergenic fragrances must be labelled; all others are listed as “perfume” or “aroma”. There is a need for changes here, as some of these ingredients can also cause allergic reactions in cosmetic users. However, the question arises how the labelling can best be implemented. Favored solutions are the conventional list on the packaging and an online version. The SCCS’ public consultation of consumers, professionals and companies on the preferred method of labelling ended on 11 February 2020, but it will probably be some time before a corresponding EU regulation becomes legally binding.