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Legal Affairs/Recommendation for Manufacturers

Use of essential oils in cosmetic products

Recommendation by the Cosmetics Commission

Already back in 1988 IKW informed the then Federal Health Office based on a survey amongst its member companies that the limit values defined in Switzerland for individual essential oils can be complied with:

Eucalyptus oil: leave-on products: 1 %
Camphor: leave-on products: 1 %; rinse-off products: 5 %
Menthol: leave-on products: 1 %; rinse-off products: 4 %
Methyl salicylate: leave-on products: 1 %; rinse-off products: 2.5 %

(Leave-on products: products which remain on the skin; rinse-off products: products which are rinsed off.)

The Cosmetics Commission of the then Federal Health Office reviewed in its meeting in November 1991 the available toxicological documents for the four essential oils mentioned above and approved their use with the above-mentioned concentrations. The Federal Health Office pointed out that for cosmetic products used in infant and baby care the above-mentioned essential oils are not desirable outside the usual perfuming and should be avoided.


(as of February 2005)

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