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Cosmetics 2016, 3(2), 17;

Legislative Aspects of Cosmetic Safety in the European Union: The Case of Contact Allergy

DABMEB Consultancy Ltd, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire MK44 1PR, UK
Department of Cutaneous Allergy, St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guys Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Enzo Berardesca
Received: 22 March 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 27 April 2016 / Published: 29 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cosmetic Contact Allergens)
Full-Text   |   PDF [172 KB, uploaded 29 April 2016]


For several decades, the European Union (EU) has amongst its many tenets and principles the aim, enshrined in an EU Directive, that cosmetic products should not cause harm to the consumer. To a great extent, this is been successful, although it is noteworthy that the frequency of contact allergy to a number of ingredients commonly found in cosmetics has remained stubbornly high. Perhaps because of this, but certainly because of the drive by the European Commission towards better, more streamlined, regulation, the Directive was recast into a Regulation, usually referred to as the EU Cosmetics Regulation ((EC) No 1223/2009). As with the Directive, for each and every cosmetic product placed on the consumer market in the EU, a safety assessment is required. The Regulation requires that a dossier is prepared detailing the composition of the product, the safety of each of its ingredients, as well as an evaluation of overall product safety. This has to be completed by suitably trained and qualified assessors. Also relevant to cosmetic products are the general regulations pertaining to chemicals used in the EU where again many details of the toxicological profile must be ascertained and reviewed. On this basis, it should be possible to ensure that the extent of contact allergy attributed to cosmetic products declines. However, legislation is one thing, but it is also necessary to ensure that the cosmetic industry safety assessment process is completed in a rigourous manner (or even done at all) and that demands enforcement of the legislation. View Full-Text
Keywords: cosmetic safety; European legislation; contact allergy cosmetic safety; European legislation; contact allergy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Basketter, D.; White, I.R. Legislative Aspects of Cosmetic Safety in the European Union: The Case of Contact Allergy. Cosmetics 2016, 3, 17.

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