Cosmetic legislation now applicable

The decision to reclassify antiperspirants was adopted this spring following a detailed review of the claims, directions for use, composition and presentation of products currently marketed in Canada.

As a consequence, Health Canada’s Cosmetic Division is now accepting Cosmetic Notification Forms for antiperspirants. Notification to Health Canada is mandatory for all cosmetic products sold in Canada.

Aluminum-based antiperspirants must therefore comply to the provisions of the Food and Drugs Act, Cosmetic Regulations, and other Canadian legislation applicable to cosmetics. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer/importer to ensure that a cosmetic product placed on the Canadian market is in compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements.

The quantity of ingredient(s) in the product must also comply with the limits outlined in the classification document entitled Product Assessment Against Criteria: Antiperspirants, and/or the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist.


Products claiming treatment of hyperhydrosis or extended duration of effect based on modification of organic function are considered drugs under the Food and Drugs Act. They are then considered to be subject to the Food and Drug Regulations or the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHPR) depending on the active ingredient. Any product making such claims may submit an application with supporting data to the Health Products and Food Branch for assessment.


Accordingly, Health Canada has listed acceptable and unacceptable claims for cosmetic antiperspirants.

- Antiperspirant
- Reduces (or provides protection against) underarm perspiration
- Reduces (or provides protection against) underarm perspiration due to stress
- Protects against wetness
- 24 hour antiperspirant effect
- Extra effective

Unacceptable :
- Antiperspirant for hyperhydrosis/problem perspiration
- Persistent protection (i.e. persistent protection, usually significantly greater than 24 hours, based on a mechanism of action that modifies organic function)
- Stops or prevents perspiration
- Helps check, halt or stop underarm wetness, dampness or perspiration
- Helps keep you dry

In the United States, antiperspirants are classified as drugs. In New Zealand, Australia, and the European Union, they are cosmetics.