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Laws and regulations

New cosmetics regulations, what is the impact on the industry’s everyday business?

The cosmetics industry has to cope with the pros and cons generated by regulations like REACH for chemical substances or like the European Regulation on cosmetics, which concerns finished products. They are primarily intended to better ensure the safety of cosmetic products and their ingredients and thus protect the health of consumers. The entire profession adheres to these values. But drawbacks generated by these new regulations are also significant. Explanations are given to Premium Beauty News by Bernard Brancq, President of Aspa-Ingrecos (Professional Association of Cosmetic Ingredients and Surfactants), in the wake of the discussion organised by the BeautyFull Club.

Premium Beauty News - What is the current situation and what are the immediate consequences?

Bernard Brancq - All cosmetic products are formulated with ingredients, whether natural or not, comprising chemicals. Even though the marketing trend in favour of “green” products suggests they are safe, it is still necessary to prove their perfect safety for consumer use according to comprehensive specifications that take into account all routes of exposure. Some surprises are possible for many ingredients, natural or not, who, although they are used in small quantities do not have a comprehensive safety record. For more widely used substances, under REACH it will soon be possible to know if they are all allowed.

As such, it is necessary to wait for results based on the regulatory process and to not put suspicion on some ingredients, in view of non-scientifically based data, or even ban them by ignoring existing regulations. In this regard, the case of parabens, authorized by the Cosmetic Regulations [1] and recently reviewed by the SCCS (Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety) is instructive

Premium Beauty News - There may also have some collateral consequences!

Bernard Brancq - That’s true, as these regulations generate high costs for testing and a strong mobilization of R&D means of companies in the cosmetics industry to the detriment of innovation which is, as you know, both the growth engine of the profession and its weight in the economy. Obviously the cost of ingredients will be on the rise too.

The number of safe available ingredients will be reduced, requiring the reformulation of many cosmetic products.

Finally, we can expect the sector to operate some relocations of its R&D and production in emerging countries where cosmetic products will be marketed in priority before Europe and where animal testing is still allowed. Thus, economic and social consequences which are not insignificant, even if the regulations of these countries copy quite quickly the ones in Europe.

On the other hand, we must admit that consumers safety will be improved, thereby strengthening their confidence and trust in beauty products, while the image of the profession will be reinforced at the same time.

Jean-Yves Bourgeois


[1] Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products

© 2011 - Premium Beauty News -
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