Claims on your Cosmetics – Acceptable or Unacceptable?

  05 April, 2021

Claims on your Cosmetics –
Acceptable or Unacceptable?

Every year, thousands of new cosmetic products are launched in the global market and each one of them claims its many benefits on the product label. Did you know that these claims are regulated by respective health authorities worldwide? Read on to figure out which claims are acceptable by regulatory bodies and which of them lead to warnings and product recalls.

What are few vital cosmetic label claim requirements?

  • Any ingredient/ product specific label claim on a given cosmetic product must comply with the definition of “cosmetics” as per region-specific health authorities
  • No cosmetic label claim must assert diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of a disease
  • A cosmetic label claim must not imply inducing any physiological, anatomical, or morphological changes

Making unacceptable therapeutic claims on any cosmetic may classify the product as a drug and lead to receipt of warning letters, product recalls, and request for label updates, in turn resulting in huge financial losses for the manufacturer/ importer. Several health authorities like the European Commission, US FDA, Health Canada, ASEAN, HSA – Singapore and others have their own definitions of a cosmetic product and specific guidelines to help differentiate between an acceptable and unacceptable cosmetic claim, in other words- Cosmetics vs Therapeutics claims. To avoid warnings letters and product recalls, a cosmetic product label must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure it is not falsely claiming for any therapeutic benefits. Few claims, though acceptable, must be supported by adequate and verifiable scientific evidence to prove that the claims made are both true and honest.

Few unacceptable cosmetic claims that received warning letters

  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improves/Repairs the skin moisture barrier
  • Increases elasticity
  • Firming of the skin
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Stimulates hair follicles
  • Reduces or soothes redness, irritation, inflammation
  • Treats or reduces acne
  • Controls or prevents dandruff

Are you confused whether the label claim on your cosmetic product is acceptable or unacceptable as per health authority requirements? Do you know which claim, if acceptable, needs requisite substantiation? Athreva, a global regulatory services and solutions company, specializes in cosmetic product compliance. Our competent team of experts have hands-on experience in identifying unacceptable cosmetic claims on your product label, and accordingly rephrasing them to be deemed acceptable by regulatory bodies worldwide. We also assist with Claims Substantiation by providing published scientific literature as supporting data. Reach out to us to navigate through the complex and tricky terrains of cosmetic regulatory landscape in a compliant, cost-effective, and timely manner.

The author of this blog Dr. Sravya is one of our in-house cosmetic regulatory experts. With hands-on experience in consulting for cosmetic manufacturing companies worldwide, her sharp eye for detail speaks for itself. You can find her on Linkedin.