Monday, July 4, 2016Congresses

Recognizing the benefits of cosmetics: the background

© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

Cosmetics undeniably provide benefits for consumers’ health and wellness. Should this aspect be recognized by regulations? Can we officially talk about physiological effects, and if we can, how can we? The debate was open at the Cosmetic Europe Week held in Brussels last June 13-17. Here is our report.

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As soon as he pronounced his opening speech at the congress, Loïc Armand, President of Cosmetics Europe, evoked the possibility for regulations to recognize the fact that cosmetics provide benefits, which might lead to carry out a risk/benefit analysis for their safety assessment (See our article: Towards a risk/benefit analysis for cosmetics? ).

However, the issue is sensitive, as right now, taking a stand for this change paves the way for products to be classified as a drug… with all the constraints involved. Still, it should be addressed, and Cosmetics Europe chose to open the debate, in particular via a working group on the fringe of the plenary session, which focused on three questions:
• Is the current cosmetics definition sufficient to cover the benefits of cosmetic products? Today? Tomorrow?
• Should the fact that cosmetics can have a physiological effect be recognized in the Cosmetics Regulation? How?
• Claiming the contribution of a cosmetic product to public health and wellbeing can easily push it to become considered as a drug. Is there a way to talk about these benefits?

Background of the regulatory framework

Before actually moving on to the debate, the facilitators of this working session reviewed the …

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