EU Cosmetic Product Categories

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.

EU Cosmetic Product Categories

Creams, emulsions, lotions, gels and oils for the skin Products for waving,straightening and fixing hair
Face masks Hair-setting products
Tinted bases (liquids, pastes, powders) Hair- cleansing products (lotions, powders, shampoos)
Make-up powders Hair- conditioning products (lotions, creams, oils)
After-bath powders Hairdressing products (lotions, lacquers, brilliantines)
Hygienic powders Shaving products (creams, foams, lotions)
Toilet soaps Make-up and products removing make-up
Deodorant soaps Products intended for application to the lips
Perfumes Products for care of the teeth and the mouth 
Toilet waters and eau de Cologne Products for nail care and make-up
Bath and shower preparations (salts, foams, oils, gels) Products for external intimate hygiene
Depilatories Sunbathing products
Deodorants and anti-perspirants Products for tanning with­out sun
Hair colorants Skin-whitening products 
Products for waving Anti-wrinkle products


If you are interested in learning more about cosmetic regulations, I have written an accessible no previous knowledge assumed guide in plain English.

A Guide To Cosmetic Ingredients For The Perplexed Ebook


Photo credit: Nikita Kashner via photopin cc

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