SCCS – Guidance on the safety assessment of nanomaterials in cosmetics

While nanomaterials are becoming more common in consumer products, concerns have been raised over the use of these very small particles and their safety for and impact on human health and the environment. In order to keep pace with the technical and scientific progress, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety updated their guidance materials, providing an overview of the key issues and data requirements linked to the safety assessment of nanomaterials in cosmetics.

In the EU, the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics falls under the Cosmetic Regulation1223/2009/EC, which defines nanomaterials and requires their premarket notification, safety evaluation, and explicit labelling.

Why can nanomaterials be problematic?

Nanomaterials may feature specific physicochemical properties, biokinetic behaviour, biological interactions, and/or toxicological effects that differ from conventional ingredients. Exposure to nanomaterials by using cosmetic products may pose a risk of harmful effects from insoluble and persistent nanoparticles that may reach unintended sites in the body and interact with biological entities close to the molecular level.

What is needed for a safety assessment of your cosmetic product?

Unambiguous identification and detailed characterisation of nanomaterials are a prerequisite for a safety assessment. Special consideration must be given to the exposure and insolubility. Data from toxicological studies will be needed and testing of nanomaterials for hazard identification/dose response characterisation must be carried out concerning the nano-related aspects.

There are strict conditions and timelines for notification and assessment of cosmetic products containing nanomaterials. Obelis Expert Consultants, with more than 30 years of experience with EU Regulations, will gladly answer any question you may have and will assist you in safeguarding your products’ compliance.


Charikleia Livogianni

Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

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