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Legal Affairs/Recommendation for Manufacturers

Recommendation on the use of hydroxy acids (AHA acids)

During the past years skincare products have increasingly been manufactured and marketed with hydroxy acids (AHA acids). The public authorities have asked questions about the safety of the products and/or requested toxicological data which prove the safety of the raw materials and finished products. In addition, the application of warnings is discussed.

IKW has compiled studies on the tolerance of skincare products with hydroxy acids and submitted them to BgVV (Federal Institute for Consumer Health Production and Veterinary Medicine). On a European level, such studies will in the near future be submitted for assessment by the SCC (Scientific Committee on Cosmetology), the scientific advisory body of the EU Commission. Pending a final clarification of the situation, the European cosmetics industry has adopted a preliminary recommendation for skincare products which are left on the skin with the following limit values:

α and β hydroxy acids (C2 - C6):

Concentration: ≤ 12 % (calculated as acid)

pH value: ≥ 3.0.


(as of April 1998)

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