When it comes to cosmetic regulations, anywhere in the world, there are 2 elements that have the biggest impact on how regulators view cosmetic products and the ingredients they contain:
- The claims made about the product – Discussed in this article
- The ingredients used in the product – Subject of Part II of this series
You’ll need to make sure that at the very start of development, your product will comply with at least these two items. What does this mean? To answer this, we first need to look at the definition of cosmetics, which thankfully is remarkably similar around the world. This is, however, where the similarities end!
What can a cosmetic product claim?
Cosmetic products are defined using different words by various regulators around the world, but in general, their use is based on:
- Appearance or odor based changes that are transient. Example, they clean or moisturize the skin, but if you stop using the product their effect also stops.
- Topical applications to unbroken skin. It may also include applications to the teeth and oral mucosa to keep them clean.
This means claims should be reflective of the visible or odor based changes they make, for example:
- Visibly brightens the skin/complexion
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Eliminates/masks body odor
Products also need to be packed with suitable dispensers and directions to ensure safe use. For products like creams and lotions, special precautions may not be necessary. But, this becomes important when the product is designed to have a specialty function. For e.g. highly acidic products designed for chemical exfoliation of the skin.
In these cases, the ingredients and the formula itself are subject to additional restrictions. Even, when the ingredient inputs and formula have been carefully checked, claims about the product, its directions for use and expected performance results must still be compliant with the local countries’ definition and permitted use of cosmetics.