Cosmetic Regulations UK

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How to comply with cosmetic regulations in UK


So you’ve formulated your skin or hair product and want to sell on the UK market. But you don’t know how to comply with UK cosmetic regulations. Follow these steps below to get you started.

The Legal Basis


The EU Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 and Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013 lays down the rules for cosmetic products in the UK. Before you can sell your cosmetic on the UK or EU market, it should comply with these regulations.

What is a cosmetic product?


The definition according to EU cosmetic Directive:


‘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, protecting them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odours;

How to comply


The first thing you require is a Cosmetic Safety Assessment or CPSR. In the process, the assessment checks for safety and compliance with the cosmetic regulations.


To get started follow steps below:


Step 1. Gather your information


Formulation: List your ingredients and quantities in a table format. Get the INCI names for each ingredient (go the Cosing website to get INCI names). This information helps when you’ve reached Step 3. For quantities, use percentage (%), so convert from mg/g or mL/L if required.

Data: Request Safety Data Sheets and Certificates of analysis from supplier. A supplier is legally required to provide downstream users (that’s you) with Safety Data Sheets if requested.


What is a Safety data sheet/ Material Safety Data Sheets? An SDS or MSDS, provides information about the supplier (contact details) and communicates hazard information.


What is a Certificate of Analysis? Also known as a ‘CoA’, this is a lab analysis on an ingredient. It provides information about contaminants or other chemicals in the ingredient.


Step 2. Contact us for a quote & check what lab tests are required


We only need your formulation (see above) to provide a quote (not SDS or CoA but we will later). Use the cosmetic quote form here to submit your formulation (remember to use INCI names and quantities in %). We aim to get back to you within 48 hours with a quote.


Lab tests: At the same time as providing a quote, we shall confirm which lab tests (microbiological, stability testing etc) are required in order to prepare a safety assessment. We require your quantities (as a percentage %) to advise on this matter.


While you wait – think about what you want to say on the label. Be cautious with any marketing claims – making unsubstantiated claims are not permitted. Avoid words like: ‘relieve’ & ‘heal’ as these terms are therapeutic not cosmetic and relate to medical products.


Step 3. Quote received. Complete client template.


Once you’ve received your quote, complete the client template found here and submit with your SDS and CoAs to


Next steps


We shall confirm if your documents meet threshold to start assessment. There are two possible outcomes:


A) Documents do not reach threshold: our assessor will tell you what is missing – you might be missing SDS for example. There is no charge.


B) Documents reach threshold: Great! Go to Step 5.



Step 4. Confirm order and make Payment for CPSR


We shall send order confirmation, estimated turnaround time and payment link by email. Once payment is made we confirm due date of the report and the process begins!

There are two possible outcomes:


a) Your product ‘Does not comply’ with regulations:  This means you need to make the changes as suggested by the cosmetic assessor.


b) Your product ‘Complies’ with regulations: Congratulations! Your product is compliant with cosmetic regulations relating to CPSR.


Other steps to take


The process to comply with UK cosmetic regulations doesn’t end with the CPSR. You are required to have compliant labelling, a Product Information File and submission to the CPNP.

More guidance shall be uploaded to our website to help you comply – in the meantime we currently offer services in these areas. Click on links below to learn more.

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