Help Tool

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

A cosmetic product is legally defined by the EU Cosmetics Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009) as: “…any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, protecting them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odours.” This definition can be broken down into three parts: 1. Substance or mixture; 2. Site of application; 3. Function. A product must meet all three elements of this definition to be a cosmetic product. The following questions will guide you through the definition and help you to decide if your product is classed as a cosmetic and so needs to comply with the requirements of the EU Cosmetics Regulation.

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I want to supply my own brand of cosmetic products to the UK market. What rules do I need to follow?
I want to supply my own brand of cosmetic products to the UK market. What rules do I need to follow?

Setting up a new brand and navigating the rules and regulations concerning product safety can be daunting. This decision tree is designed to aid you in understanding the rules to follow and what to consider when supplying a cosmetic product to UK/EU market.

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I am planning to supply another brand’s products on the UK market. What are my responsibilities under the EU Cosmetics Regulation?
I am planning to supply another brand’s products on the UK market. What are my responsibilities under the EU Cosmetics Regulation?

In the UK/EU, the manufacture and supply of all cosmetic products is governed by the EU Cosmetics Regulation (No. 1223/2009) and its amendments. Your obligations under this Regulation may differ depending on the role you are playing in the supply chain. This decision tree is designed to help you understand your roles and responsibilities.

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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 1223/2009 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. Links to the Regulation and its Annexes can be found here on our website. For ease of reference, the European Commission provides an unofficial consolidated text, (also available on the above linked page) that incorporates any changes made to the Annexes up to the date it was published. Please ensure you check each individual Regulation published after this date for any subsequent changes that may affect your ingredient. The European Commission also provides a database of information on cosmetic ingredients called CosIng. This includes information on whether a substance is listed under the Annexes to the Cosmetic Regulation. CosIng is a useful tool but is not legal text and is known to contain errors - always refer to the Cosmetic Regulation Annexes to confirm the regulatory status of an ingredient. 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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