I don’t think that many people in the cosmetic business ever stop and think about what actually constitutes a cosmetic product. Most of us are too busy working on them to philosophise about them. But there is a definition, and it can be found in Article 2 of the EU cosmetic regulations EU 1223/2990. It reads –
‘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, protect ing them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odours.
So basically anything you put on yourself to make yourself look, feel or smell good. But there is also an actual list of the categories in the preamble. It looks pretty comprehensive, and might come in handy if you ever get into an argument about what kind of product you are working on.