Cosmetic products are EU-wide regulated in the EC Cosmetics Regulation. This law contains a lot of requirements for cosmetic products sold in the European Union.
Safety assessment of cosmetic products is an important topic of the regulation as it is described in more detail than before in Annex I of the regulation. The EU Commission published a guideline for the annotation of Annex I yet. The qualifications of the persons who are entitled to conduct the safety assessment are specified in the regulation. Interdisciplinary knowledge is necessary for competent assessment of safety of cosmetic products. The DGK, German Association for Scientific and Applied Cosmetics, together with IKW, offers advanced training courses for safety assessors in German and English (see www.safetyassessor.info). In the last year two seminars were hold in addition in english in combination with the HPCI-Conference in Warszaw and Istambul. More than 130 saftey assessors registred for these events.
Claim substantiation of cosmetic products is also in the focus of the legislation. Claims always need to be justified and in no way mislead the consumer. The EC Cosmetic Regulation was complemented by another regulation with common criteria. These concern truthfulness, evidential support, proof, honesty, fairness and the necessity to enable the consumer to make a well-founded decision based on the information about the products.
Cosmetic products have a high level of safety and compatibility. Nevertheless, even under correct use, individual intolerances, such as minor skin irritations or allergic reactions, can occur. According to a survey done by IKW since 1976, there are only 1.3 cases of health-related intolerances per 1 million sold cosmetic product packages. The very rare case of a serious undesirable effect, e. g. such a one which needs to be treated in a hospital, should be reported, according to the new EC Cosmetic Regulation – this process was named Cosmetovigilance. The European Commission published guidelines and standardized report forms regarding this topic on the internet.
Furthermore, all products need to have been registered at the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP).
The EC Cosmetic Regulation contains numerous additional regulations, such as for nanomaterials, CMR substances, positive lists and banned substances and many more. Furthermore, labelling requirements in the German language, are established.
Further emphasis in this sector lies on the dialogue with other institutions. Further information for producers and distributors of cosmetic products in Germany can be found on the this homepage.