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    Understanding the EU's Safety Control of Cosmetics

    When choosing cosmetics, it is important to know that there is an extensive process behind it to ensure your safety. The EU has established a thorough procedure that ensures that all cosmetic products you use meet the highest safety standards. This process includes three key steps, from side effect reporting to scientific assessments and finally legislation and regulation. Let's dive into how this process protects you as a consumer and what it means for the safety assessment of the cosmetic products you love.


    Step 1: Reporting side effects
    Distributor, responsible person or consumer/health care professional reports serious adverse effects of the cosmetic product to the national authority, which assesses the seriousness and the necessity to inform other EU countries where the product is sold.

    Step 2: Scientific assessment
    The EU's Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) assesses selected ingredients (typically the most dangerous) and gives their recommendation on possible restrictions or prohibitions.

    Step 3: Legislation and regulation
    Substances which are harmonized in the chemical legislation as either carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMR effect) in category 1 (safe effect) are automatically prohibited in cosmetic products, while substances which are harmonized with CMR effect in category 2 (suspected) must be assessed by the SCCS, whether they can still be used and typically conditions of use and a max. limit for the substance in cosmetic products.

    After the third step, a number of safety standards for cosmetic products are laid down in the EU Cosmetics Regulation. A significant part of the EU Cosmetics Regulation ensures that all cosmetic products have undergone a thorough safety assessment. The most crucial part of this assessment is a detailed safety report prepared by an expert with advanced training in pharmacology, toxicology, medicine or a similar field. This ensures that the products are carefully researched to be safe for the intended users.

    In the first part of the safety report (Part A), e.g. second, the chemical identity and the specific quantity of each ingredient, properties and stability of both ingredients, mixtures and the finished product, impurities in the product from, among other things raw materials or from the packaging, exposure to the product and the toxicological information on each ingredient. Based on the mapping, a so-called margin of safety (MoS or Margin of Safety) is calculated. This margin of safety establishes a concentration of the ingredient that is safe to use in the product. The safety margin ensures that a concentration is used in the finished product that is at least 100 times lower than the concentration that does not give rise to any negative effects in e.g. laboratory experiments.

    The second part of the safety report (Part B) determines, on the basis of the first part of the safety report, whether the product is safe to use under normal and reasonably foreseeable conditions. It takes i.a. consideration of specific target groups, such as children and pregnant women, the product's area of ​​use, method of use and the dose to which the user is exposed. In addition, it is assessed whether special warnings should be added for safe use, e.g. "Avoid contact with the eyes".
    If you are in doubt as to whether a safety assessment has been made for your nail product from your supplier, you can always ask to see this Part B of the CPSR (Cosmetic Product Safety Report).

    The safety assessment of a product is never complete, as it is continuously updated when researchers contribute new knowledge that can have an impact on whether the product is still safe to use. Manufacturers are therefore obliged to continuously update their knowledge based on new research and must obtain information from a number of sources, including internal research, scientific literature, authorities, scientific committees, universities, research organizations and databases of chemical substances.

    These rules are designed to ensure that the cosmetic products you use have been thoroughly evaluated and approved by qualified experts. This means that you can safely use the products , knowing that they have been assessed as safe for you.


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