New European Cosmetics Regulation Streamlines Beauty Labeling

Originally posted 2018-11-06 10:37:12

By Caroline Lau |
cosmeticsThe European Commission of the European Union passed a law that will improve the safety and advertising standards of beauty products. According to a spokesman for the Commission’s department of health and consumers, the Cosmetics Regulation will serve to resolve “ambiguities that may occur among member states” regarding the laws and policies for cosmetics labeling. Legislation for the law has been in the works for three years, now supplanting the previous Cosmetics Directive and effective July 11, 2013.

One of the provisions is that the contact information of “responsible persons” in charge of the product’s compliance with health, safety, and consumer information regulations must be provided on the labels of each product on the market. In addition, the responsible person is required to “maintain a product information file accessible to public authorities.” Safety evaluation will be undertaken by a centralized European electronic notification system that should have all items sold on file.

More stringent measures as to the safety of the substances used in the products are also in place. Of especial concern are nano-materials, which are materials containing particles with features and properties based on the particles’ size at the nano-scale. The new law stipulates that the nano-materials be legally authorized for use, and that the word ‘nano’ appear on the labeled list of ingredients in brackets. While nano-materials have been utilized in cosmetics manufacturing for years, the legislation is meant to help keep consumers better informed.

Besides unifying labeling practices across European member states, the Cosmetics Regulation also positively affects the integrity of beauty marketing and advertising, including the usage of “texts, names, trademarks, pictures and figurative or other signs” linked to the products. Such labels and representations of the product must meet the requirements of “legal compliance, truthfulness, support, honesty, fairness and informed decision making”.

For those involved in the beauty industry with connections to the European market and businesses, the Cosmetics Regulation will foreseeably prove beneficial not only to the consumer base but also to cosmetics companies that will experience higher efficiency as a result of the legislation’s specified centralized system and standardization for stronger quality control of cosmetics.

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Sources: July 10, 2013. “New labeling laws for beauty products.” Retrieved on July 11, 2013 from

Europa. February 18, 2010. “Cosmetic products (from 2013).” Retrieved on July 11, 2013 from

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