My Dear Sexy Readers,
I know a lot of you are very worried about beauty products and in particular the controls behind them. We want them to be safe to make sure that any allergic reaction or sensitization effect can be identified.
So here are a few facts on cosmetics regulations:
"Responsible manufacturers invest their reputation in their brands, building trust with loyal customers and relying on customer satisfaction for their success. Such companies are not going to jeopardise that by selling unsafe or unsatisfactory products." Excerpt from HERE
In Europe, regulation is implemented by a committee from the European commission. The latest document was applied in July last year 2013 and refers to the '1223/2009' amendment of the last 2008 regulations. The UK also complies to it and is reviewed by the "Cosmetic Products Regulation". The full document can be viewed HERE.
2. In the US, The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), an independent, scientific review board, critically evaluates chemical ingredients used in cosmetics and publishes the results of its findings in the peer-reviewed literature.
Note for Skeptics: " Health-related allegations about cosmetic ingredients are generally based on the results of high-dose laboratory testing in animals and have little relevance for humans. As true now as when Paracelsus said it in the 16th century, “It is the dose that makes the poison.” . Animal and human physiology differ in crucial ways, further invalidating simplistic attempts to extrapolate rodent testing to human health risks. The cosmetic industry should be encouraged to publish more of its toxicity studies and safety evaluations, which would aid in dispelling the uncertainty that some consumers have about cosmetic safety. " Excerpt from HERE
3. In the US, FDA has consistently advised manufacturers to use whatever testing is necessary to ensure the safety of their products and ingredients, which do not need FDA premarket approval, with the exception of color additives. Under the law, manufacturers are not required to register their cosmetic establishments or file their product formulations with FDA, they are encouraged to participate in FDA's Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP) using an online registration system.
In Europe, The document (EC) 1223/2009 clarifies the role of a ‘responsible person’ and a distributor in ensuring compliance with the relevant obligations, it requires all cosmetic products to be notified to the European Commission rather than to national authorities and more clearly describes the product information file. It also introduces a concept of Serious Undesirable Effects, which have to be reported, and defines nanomaterials, which also have to be reported.
4. In general, except for color additives and those ingredients that are prohibited or restricted by regulation, a manufacturer may use any ingredient in the formulation of a cosmetic, provided that:
- the ingredient and the finished cosmetic are safe under labeled or customary conditions of use,
- the product is properly labeled, and
- the use of the ingredient does not otherwise cause the cosmetic to be adulterated or misbranded under the laws that FDA enforces.
In Europe, The Regulation (EC) 1223/2009 document also lists restricted and banned substances, and provides positive lists of preservatives, colorants and UV filters (LIST OF SUBSTANCES WHICH MUST NOT FORM PART OF THE COMPOSITION OF COSMETIC PRODUCTS (UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED)
6. In the US, as well as in Europe/UK, regulatory action can be taken if reliable information indicating that a cosmetic is adulterated or misbranded is gathered; an action can be pursued through its respective Department of Justice to remove this cosmetic from the market. Cosmetics that are not in compliance with the law may be subject to seizure which means that the government takes possession of property from someone who has violated the law, or is suspected of doing so. FDA also may initiate criminal action against a person violating the law.
Additional Notes: FDA can and does inspect cosmetic manufacturing facilities to assure cosmetic product safety and determine whether cosmetics are adulterated or misbranded under the FD&C Act or FPLA. Also, the FDA collect samples for examination and analysis as part of cosmetic facility inspections, import inspections, and follow-up to complaints of adverse events associated with their use. FDA may also conduct research on cosmetic products and ingredients to address safety concerns. FDA does not function as a private testing laboratory, and in order to avoid even the perception of conflict of interest, they do not recommend private laboratories to consumers or manufacturers for sample analysis.
Are you worried about cosmetics safety? Is there something I haven't covered, let me know in the comments, I'll try to dig up some more info for you. In writing this post, I stumbled upon this amazing website that is all about regulations, scare stories, chemicals in cosmetics etc.. I think if you are worried, do check it out. I hope that, like me, you feel reassured that our cosmetics are checked out by the proper authorities.
In the meantime, if you are interested to know more about chemicals in make up or shampoos, do check out SSS previous posts.
See you Soon for more Sexy Science,
All references have been inserted as links, please hover your pointer to the relevant sections and click on them to be redirected to the websites.