Cosmetics labelling

When it comes to labelling cosmetics, a fundamental distinction is made between mandatory labelling, voluntary information and advertising claims.

Mandatory labelling

Mandatory labelling for cosmetics includes the following:

  • Names of the ingredients, including their INCI declaration
  • Name or company and address of the responsible person
  • Country of origin in case of cosmetics imported into the EU
  • Nominal content
  • Date of minimum durability or durability after opening
  • Particular precautions for use
  • Batch number
  • Product function

The list of ingredients must be preceded by the term “Ingredients”. The ingredients must be listed by their INCI names (also known as an INCI declaration or INCI nomenclature; INCI stands for “International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients”). They are to be listed in descending order of weight at the time the cosmetic product was manufactured. Ingredients in concentrations of less than 1% may be listed in any order following those in concentrations of more than 1%. Ingredients present in the form of nanomaterials must be labelled with the word “nano” in brackets (e.g. titanium dioxide (nano)…). Regulation 1223/2009 makes provisions for certain special situations with regard to labelling, i.e. in connection with very small packages or free samples.

Voluntary information and cosmetic claims

Examples for voluntary informations for cosmetics are:

  • Information about packaging material
  • A “not tested on animals” statement

Restrictions on cosmetic products’ advertising claims, such as “30 percent fewer wrinkles within 4 weeks”, are based on the EU Cosmetics Regulation as well as national laws. Since July 2013, the regulation (EU) No. 655/2013, laying down common criteria for the justification of claims used in relation to cosmetic products, is in place. Under headings such as legal compliance, truthfulness, evidential support, honesty, fairness and informed decision-making the regulation defines essential requirements for advertising cosmetic products. Contact us for further information.