The term cosmetic product covers a very wide range of consumer products including: anti-wrinkle products; bath and shower preparations; creams, emulsions, lotions, gels and oils for the skin; deodorants and anti-perspirants; face masks; hair care products; make-up powders; make-up removers for the face and eyes; perfumes; products for care of the teeth and mouth; products for external intimate hygiene; products for nail care and make-up; products for tanning without the sun; products intended for application to the lips; shaving products; skin- whitening products; sunbathing products; tinted bases and toilet soaps. (Note: this listing is not exhaustive)

The manufacture and distribution of cosmetic products is a regulated business with an EU directive for cosmetics applicable to all member states putting products on the market. The primary regulation covering cosmetics is 76/768/EEC however this has been amended a number of times since its introduction. Due to the number of amendments the cosmetic directive has recently been recast and on the 30th November 2009 the New Cosmetic product regulation was adopted - see EU Regulation 1223/2009, replacing the Cosmetics Directive.

Existing manufacturers have until the 11th of July 2013 to comply with the new regulation as this is the date when it comes into force. Anyone seeking to introduce a new cosmetic product to the market should seek compliance with the new regulation.

Standards and the recast cosmetic directive

Standards are being developed to ensure the safety and quality of cosmetic products.

NSAI currently has a committee set up to monitor the development of cosmetic standards - Cosmetic Standards Advisory Group (CSAG).

This committee is monitoring and participating in the work of the following ISO & CEN committees.

Subject CEN ISO
Cosmetics 392 217

In general compliance with such standards is voluntary however in some cases standards become recognised as a way of demonstrating compliance with directives. Such standards are known as "harmonised" and are a recognised way of demonstrating compliance with the relevant directives. Harmonised standards are sited in the official journal of the European Union.

To date there is one harmonised standard relating to cosmetic products I.S. EN ISO 22716:2007 - Cosmetics - Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) - Guidelines on Good Manufacturing Practices (ISO 22716:2007).

Apart from the members directly involved in the committee, the CSAG would welcome inputs and contributions from others involved in the cosmetic manufacturing & distribution industry. It is through participating in the work of CSAG that you will keep up to date on developments of cosmetic standards and have the opportunity to influence the content of the future standards.

For more information about CSAG contact: Anne Marie Crowley

Other useful links:
HPRA - Competent Authority for Cosmetics
HSE - Environmental Health Officers & Cosmetics
ICDA - Irish Cosmetic and Detergent allied products Association
INAB - Accredited test facilities
Your Standards Your Say - NSAI draft standard commenting portal
Purchase a standard - www.standards.ie