Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup. These products are regulated at European level to ensure consumer safety and to secure an internal market for cosmetics.
The EU’s role in cosmetics
Europe is a world leader in the cosmetics industry and dominant cosmetics exporter. The sector is highly innovative and provides significant employment in Europe. The EU’s involvement mainly concerns the regulatory framework for market access, international trade relations, and regulatory convergence. These all aim to ensure the highest level of consumer safety while promoting the innovation and the competitiveness of this sector.
The European Commission is also in contact with cosmetics stakeholders at EU and international level. This cooperation enables the exchange of information and ensures the smoother implementation of EU requirements in the sector.
Product safety and legislation
Regardless of the manufacturing processes or the channels of distribution, cosmetic products placed on the EU market must be safe. The manufacturer is responsible for the safety of their products, and must ensure that they undergo an expert scientific safety assessment before they are sold. A special database with information on cosmetic substances and ingredients, called CosIng, enables easy access to data on these substances, including legal requirements and restrictions.
Cosmetics legislation at EU level also
- requires that all products to be marketed in the EU must be registered in the cosmetic products notification portal (CPNP) before being placed on the market
- requires that some cosmetic products are given special attention from regulators due to their scientific complexity or higher potential risk to consumer health
- ensures that there is a ban on animal testing for cosmetic purposes
- makes EU countries responsible for market surveillance at national level
Glossary and acronyms related to cosmetics legislation (24 kB)
Revision of the Regulation
The Commission plans to revise the Cosmetic Product Regulation. We aim to
- improve the protection of human health from chemical risks
- operationalise and streamline the technical and scientific work for risk assessment of ingredients in cosmetics
- improve communication of information via digital labelling
- enhance the functioning of the internal market for cosmetics
List of national competent authorities for cosmetics, poison centres and other relevant authorities (22 KB)