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Cosmetic Regulations in Europe

SpecialChem / SpecialChem – Aug 18, 2006

In the European Union, and influencing the other European countries, the regulatory framework for Cosmetics is provided by the Directive 76/768/EEC- 'Cosmetics Directive'. To this date it has undergone more than 50 amendments, adaptations and corrections. A consolidated version from Y2005 is available, see URL in the text box. The directive defines a cosmetic product as 'any substance or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body odours and/or protecting them or keeping them in good condition'. Consequently, the accepted effects of cosmetic products include enhancement of well being, improvement of self esteem and increase in perception by others - cosmetics are not meant to treat or prevent illnesses. Annex 1 of the directive lists all applicable cosmetic products by category. In further annexes the directive specifies cosmetic ingredients in the form of positive, negative & restricted lists.

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