Our Industry

"All of us use cosmetics on a daily basis. They are not only essential to keep us clean, but to give us confidence in ourselves and in how we interact with others. The cosmetics industry is committed to developing sustainable, innovative products which meet our consumers´ needs and demands"

Dr Emma Meredith, Director-General, CTPA


in this page:

What Do We Mean By 'Cosmetics'?

Credit: Cosmetics Europe 

UK/EU Legal Definition:

'A 'cosmetic product' shall mean any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucus membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to...'

Cosmetic products can be divided into five main categories:

  • perfumes and fragrances
  • decorative cosmetics (make-up)
  • skin care
  • hair care
  • toiletries 

Essentiality of Our Industry

As consumers, we feel the impact of our cosmetics and personal care products acutely.  The connection between how we look and how we feel was clear from polling carried out for CTPA by Opinium* in Spring 2022.


*Opinium poll with 2000 UK adults between 25 February and 1 March 2022.  Learn more in the CTPA Annual Report 2021.