Help Tool

Is my product a cosmetic?
Is my product a cosmetic?

A cosmetic product is legally defined by Article 2 of the EU and UK Cosmetics Regulations. The definition can be broken down into three parts: 1. A cosmetic must be a substance or mixture; 2. A cosmetic shall be applied to specific areas of the human body; 3. A cosmetic must have specific cosmetic functions. A product must meet all three elements of this definition to be a cosmetic product. Use this tool to find out if your product is a cosmetic.

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I am planning to supply another brand’s products on the UK market.
I am planning to supply another brand’s products on the UK market.

What are my responsibilities under the UK/EU Cosmetics Regulations?

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I want to make claims about my product. What do I need to know?
I want to make claims about my product. What do I need to know?

A claim does not have to be written; the term covers any text, names, trademarks, pictures and figurative or other signs. It can be implied by ingredients, labelling, advertising and presentation including any on-line marketing and text such as reviews, or testimonials or influencers on social media. In the UK/EU, all cosmetic claims are covered by Article 20 of the Cosmetic Products Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 and Regulation (EU) No. 655/2013 - Common Criteria for Cosmetic Claims. In addition to the cosmetic specific legislation, the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) addresses commercial practices directly related to influencing consumers’ transactional decisions in relation to products, in order to protect consumers from the consequences of unfair commercial practices. This Directive is a horizontal legislation that applies to all sectors, not just to cosmetics. In the UK, the UCPD is implemented as the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. There may also be specific rules, recommendations or guidance for certain claims from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and CTPA . This decision tree is intended to help you identify additional information you should be aware of, depending on the type of claim you are making.

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How do I find out if I can use a ingredient in cosmetics?
How do I find out if I can use a ingredient in cosmetics?

The EU Cosmetics Regulation and UK Cosmetics Regulation controls what may or may not be put in a cosmetic product and in many cases specifies how certain cosmetic ingredients must be used. This decision tree is intended to take you through the steps of checking whether a substance is prohibited, restricted or otherwise permitted for use. At each stage you will need to check whether your ingredient is listed in a particular Annex to the Regulation. Substances are identified in the Annexes using information such as chemical name or INN (Non-proprietary Names), CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) number, EC (European Community) number, common ingredient names found in Commission Decision (EU) 2019/701 (Glossary), or in the case of colorants, by their Colour Index (CI) number. Please note that this decision tree is a helpful tool to introduce you to the Annexes. If in any doubt about a particular substance it is recommended that you check with your raw material supplier or a consultant specialising in the cosmetics legislation. Whilst CTPA cannot recommend individual companies, our website has an interactive list of members allowing you to search for specific services.

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