|Nanomaterials in cosmetics – regulation and safety assessment in the EU (NanoTrust-Dossier No61en - Aug. 2023)
The cosmetics industry uses a range of nanomaterials to improve the properties of products. Whilst there are no or only minor health concerns with soluble and biodegradable nanomaterials, such as those used to transport active ingredients into the skin, it is primarily the insoluble and persistent nanoparticles that give cause for concern. These are substances that are used, for example, as UV filters or dyes, or because of their antibacterial or antioxidant properties. To ensure the highest possible level of consumer protection, the EU Cosmetics Regulation was adapted in 2009, with special provisions introduced for nanomaterials. These include the notification of cosmetic products containing nanomaterials to the European Commission, a comprehensive safety assessment, and the labelling of nanoscale ingredients on the product label. Cosmetics are the only consumer products with such regulations in the EU. In the USA, for example, there are no such regulations to protect consumers. Technical progress, but also the experience gained during the implementation of the provisions for nanomaterials in the EU Cosmetics Regulation over the recent years, now necessitate their adaption and update. The definition of the term “nanomaterial” in the regulation, the safety assessment and notification procedures, and the labelling method are now subject to review at EU level.