Cosmetic Allergens

With the latest European Regulation that came into force in July 2023, 56 new allergens have been added to the list of substances that must be declared on cosmetic labels. This update primarily concerns certain fragrances used in cosmetics that can cause allergic reactions in individuals with particular predispositions.

But what exactly are allergens and to what extent should they be avoided?

Are allergens in cosmetics dangerous?

contact dermatitis allergensTo begin with, the reactions caused by allergens in cosmetics are significantly less severe compared to food allergens, which can lead to fainting and anaphylactic shocks. Therefore, when it comes to cosmetics, reactions are usually limited to irritations, photosensitivity, or contact dermatitis, but only in individuals with a certain predisposition. However, most people tolerate these substances without any issues.

In fact, unless there is an allergy or particularly high skin sensitivity, allergens in cosmetics are generally harmless. These substances can be either natural or synthetic, including ingredients like sunscreens, preservatives needed to stabilize the product, essential oils, aromatic waters, or extracts used to give the product a pleasant scent. Limonene, geraniol, and linalool—components found in essential oils such as orange, citronella, geranium, and lavender—are among the 24 allergens already on the list. The new allergens include substances extracted from: orange, bergamot, eucalyptus, cedarwood, lavender, ylang-ylang, peppermint, pine, and rose, to name a few.

Here you can find the complete updated list of allergens.

What does the latest Regulation on cosmetic allergens entail?

Cosmetic Allergen With the addition of 56 new allergens, the total number of cataloged allergenic substances now stands at 80, significantly reducing the likelihood of finding cosmetics free of any allergens. Moreover, it’s important to remember that by law, labels cannot state “Allergen-Free” or “Hypoallergenic,” as these claims are considered misleading because individuals may still be sensitive to substances not on the list.

In conclusion, the application of the Cosmetics Regulation remains unchanged, requiring the declaration of any classified allergenic substance on the label to ensure consumer safety. At Camorak, we are already working to comply with the new regulation within the permitted timeframe. Therefore, such substantial changes allow for a grace period for updating labels to avoid recalling products already on the market. Specifically, cosmetics placed on the market before July 31, 2026, can be sold until July 31, 2028, ensuring that no non-compliant products remain on shelves after that date.

For any questions or information about your cosmetic line and compliance with the new Cosmetics Regulation, we are always available to provide the necessary support. Contact us!