What’s in your skincare products?
We have all been told that the skin is our largest organ and that what we apply externally is absorbed directly into our body. In a perfect world, we as consumers of beauty and body care items wouldn’t have to worry about whether the substances found in everyday products are potentially harmful, but that’s not the case.
In actuality, there are major differences in what the United States allows in cosmetics compared to the European Union. In fact, the EU has banned or limited more than 1,300 chemicals for use in cosmetics, whereas the United States has only prohibited or restricted about a dozen. That is 118 times more substances restricted through the EU Cosmetic Directive than that of the US Food and Drug Administration.
How are cosmetics regulated in the EU?
In the EU, the cosmetics industry and their products (raw materials or finished) are impacted by the EU Cosmetic Directive (76/768/EEC), which banned the initial 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics, the New EU Cosmetic Products Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006.
REACH stands for the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemicals in the European Union. REACH was adopted to ensure that human health and the environment has a high level of protection. REACH also helps to combat the circulation of chemicals on the internal market and helps to promote innovating alternatives to animal testing and hazarded chemicals. Under REACH it is the responsibility of the downstream user, the personal care or cosmetic company, in this case, to comply with the regulation given they are importing substance of very high concern (SVHC) over 1 tonne per year.
Are you in-scope of the REACH regulation in the EU? Do you hae to identify restricted substances in your products in accordance with the EU Cosmetic Directive?
REACH reporting puts the burden of identification of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC’s) within the supply chain on the producer or retailer. This can be complicated for the end producer or retailer who do not have the information on the material makeup from the companies higher up in the supply chain. Through the flexibility of our platform, we are able to accept a large variety of chemical and material documents, which we can then run against the continually growing list of SCHC’s. Learn more about our REACH compliance program, here.