Upcoming changes to Annexes of cosmetics regulation in UK – 2023

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On review of ingredients, important changes to Annexes of the UK Cosmetics Regulation are expected in 2023. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) announced last year some cosmetic ingredients face a complete ban while others attract new restrictions. Let’s look into what those upcoming changes are.

How did these changes come about?

The OPSS relies on the expertise of an advisory group called the SAG-CS to provide independent scientific advice on specific chemicals. This process begins with the OPSS requesting for advice and posing a set of questions for the SAG-CS to consider.

Once the SAG-CS has discussed and answered the questions, they publish their advice in the form of an opinion. That opinion is taken into account by the OPSS on whether ingredients are added to the banned list or new restrictions are imposed.

What are the changes to the Annexes?

The changes to the Annexes relate to two cosmetic ingredients: Deoxyarbutin and Salicylic acid. Cosmetics not compliant with these new rules cannot be placed on the market today (since December 2022).

Annex II change regarding Deoxyarbutin

Ingredient: Deoxyarbutin

Change: Banned

Sell-through by: March 15, 2023

Ingredients that are banned for use in cosmetics are listed in Annex II of the UK Cosmetics Regulation. One of the changes that is expected to take place is the addition of Deoxyarbutin to this list, making it illegal to use in cosmetic products.

Sell-through period

Cosmetic manufacturers are required to sell-through cosmetics containing Deoxyarbutin by the March 15, 2023.

Click here to read the opinion and learn more

Annex III change regarding Salicylic acid

Ingredient: Salicylic acid

Change: New restriction

Sell-through by: March 15, 2023

Annex III of the UK Cosmetics Regulation includes a list of restricted ingredients. Salicylic acid is to be added to this list, with new restrictions on its use in cosmetic products (excluding its use as a preservative).

What are the new restrictions for Salicylic acid?

The proposed maximum allowed concentrations for Salicylic acid are:

3% in rinse-off hair products

2% in other products except body lotion, eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, and roll-on deodorant

0.5% (as acid) in body lotion, eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, and roll-on deodorant.

Sell-through period

Cosmetic manufacturers are required to sell-through cosmetics that contain non-compliant levels of Salicylic acid by March 15, 2023.

Click here to read the opinion and learn more

What manufacturers need to do and by when

Manufacturers are required to withdraw non-compliant products from the market by 15 March deadline (subject to change).

Cosmetic businesses surveyed by OPSS

In 2022, OPSS launched a survey to get an idea of the impact of the proposed changes to Annex II and III of the UK Cosmetics Regulation. The results of the survey are yet to be published.

Note: The changes outlined above are subject to change.

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