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Beauty Products

Cosmetic Products


Before you start digging into the EU and UK cosmetics regulation and their requirements, it is important to determine if your product indeed falls within the scope of the cosmetic legislation.

A cosmetic product in Europe and UK is defined in the Regulation 1223/2009 as follows:

‘cosmetic product’ means any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, protecting them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odours. (EU Regulation 1223/2009, Article 2.1.a)

Based on the definition of the cosmetic products, products that may seem to be cosmetics, like nail wraps, a comb or a toothbrush, therefore aren’t cosmetics, even though they are placed in contact with the external parts of the human body, and their primary function is to change appearance, but they wouldn’t be considered a substance or a mixture.

Since products have to be placed in contact with the external parts of the human body or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity, any product intended to be ingested, inhaled, injected or implanted into the human body would also not be considered a cosmetic product in the EU or the UK. Breast implants then aren’t cosmetics, even though their primary function is also to change appearance.

The assessment of whether a product is a cosmetic product has to be made on the basis of a case-by-case assessment, taking into account all characteristics of the products.


Cosmetic product may include:

  • creams, emulsions, lotions, gels and oils for the skin,

  • face masks,

  • tinted bases (liquids, pastes, powders),

  • make-up powders,

  • after-bath powders,

  • hygienic powders,

  • toilet soaps,

  • deodorant soaps,

  • perfumes, toilet waters and eau de Cologne,

  • bath and shower preparations (salts, foams, oils, gels),

  • depilatories,

  • deodorants and antiperspirants,

  • hair colorants,

  • products for waving, straightening and fixing hair

  • hair-setting products,

  • hair-cleansing products (lotions, powders, shampoos),

  • hair-conditioning products (lotions, creams, oils),

  • hairdressing products (lotions, lacquers, brilliantines),

  • shaving products (creams, foams, lotions),

  • make-up and products removing make-up,

  • products intended for application to the lips,

  • products for care of the teeth and the mouth,

  • products for nail care and make-up,

  • products for external intimate hygiene,

  • sunbathing products,

  • products for tanning without sun,

  • skin-whitening products,

  • anti-wrinkle products


Notification is a pre-market requirement where the Responsible person informs the EU Commission and the EU member states, or in case of the UK, the Secretary of State, that the product will be placed on the EU/UK market. The notification has to be performed after the cosmetic products are compliant with the relevant legislation (PIF is completed and compliant).

UK Submit Cosmetic Products Notification Portal

On 1 January 2021, the UK Government department Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) launched the Submit Cosmetic Products Notification (SCPN) portal, allowing companies to notify cosmetic products made available on the GB market as of 1 January 2021, as required under Article 13 of the UK Cosmetics Regulation .  Guidance on how to submit a cosmetic product notification via SCPN is also available;

general guidance from the UK Government on product safety and metrology for cosmetics is available

Companies are reminded that:

  • new products placed on the market as of 1 January 2021 must be notified on SCPN prior to being placed on the market. The information that has to be submitted as part of the notification is as per Article 13 of the UK Cosmetics Regulation;

  • products available on the UK market before 1 January 2021 and already notified via the EU Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP) must be notified within 90 days from 1 January 2021;

  • products intended to be placed on the Northern Irish market must be notified on the EU Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP), as NI follows EU rules.

Image by Belle Beauty

Checking Current Product for Compliance

- Cosmetic products safety assessment and preparation of Cosmetic Product Safety Reports (CPSR)

Image by ian dooley

Preparation of Product Information Files (PIF)

Cosmetic Products

EU/UK Responsible Person (RP) service for non-EU resident cosmetic manufacturers/brand owners;

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