Are Eyelash Glues in the EU Regulated as Cosmetics?

In the EU, the regulation of eyelash glues as cosmetics has not been consistent in the past. Some countries, such as France, classified eyelash glue as a cosmetic product and regulated it under Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009. Others felt that the products fell under the General Product Safety Regulation, with the onus on producers and distributors to ensure their safety in normal or reasonably foreseeable use.

The inconsistency was raised in the EU parliament in 2020. Question E-9-2020-004218, addressed the issue of whether eyelash glues are regulated as cosmetics within the European Union (EU). This turned out to be a matter to be referred to the the Working Group on Cosmetic Products (Sub-group on Borderline Products).

If you are interested, the Working Group on Cosmetic Products (Sub-Group on Borderline Products) is a part of the European Commission and is responsible for discussing the application of Article 2(1)(a) of the Cosmetics Regulation to ensure a uniform approach in determining the scope of application of the regulation. The group is comprised of experts from within the Working Group on Cosmetic Products and other Commission Services concerned. They meet on a regular basis to address the demarcation between cosmetic products and other product categories, such as medicinal products, biocidal products, and medical devices. 

And if you are really interested, here is a link to their manual.

However, from a practical point of view, it doesn’t really matter very much in terms of what you have to do.  You still have to make sure the products are safe, so their safety will need to be assessed.  The cosmetic product safety report is a recognised and suitable format for this kind of purpose. You will need to manufacture the products according to some kind of system, and the requirements of cosmetic GMP are not very different to how any product going on the skin would need to be made and controlled.  The only significant difference is whether or not to register the product on the CPNP portal.  There isn’t a category set up for them on the portal – I suppose the closest is Hair and Scalp Products>Other Hair and Scalp Products>Other Hair and Scalp Products.  That doesn’t seem very satisfactory, and for that reason and that reason alone I would probably choose not to register them.  But I’d make sure that that was the only thing wasn’t compliant with the EU cosmetic regulations.  Other than that I’d compile a full PIF file.  If the committee rules that they are indeed cosmetics, that way the registration would be the only thing that would need to be done to bring it into compliance.

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