Nanomaterials in cosmetics

Cosmetic productsCosmetics placed on the EU market are regulated by the Regulation on cosmetic products. It provides a safety framework and established a central notification system for cosmetic products placed on the EU market. Colourants, preservatives and UV filters, including those that are nanomaterials, must be explicitly authorised.

Manufacturers, importers or their appointed third parties need to register their cosmetics via the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP). If a product contains nanomaterials, the notifier needs to identify the nanomaterial and specify the likely route through which a person may be exposed to it.

Colourants, preservatives and UV filters must be authorised by the European Commission prior to their use in cosmetics. Before authorisation, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) reviews the toxicological data related to the substance for which the authorisation is sought.

You can find out if the cosmetic product you are using contains nanomaterials by looking at the list of ingredients on the package of the product. Nanomaterials in a cosmetic product must be labelled with the word ‘nano’ in brackets after the name of the ingredient.