Updates to restricted and prohibited ingredients in cosmetic products

This page outlines how manufacturers, importers, distributors and responsible persons can keep up-to-date with legal changes relating to ingredients used in cosmetic products. 

Keeping up to date with legal changes to ingredients in cosmetic products

European Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 contains Annexes that include lists of substances either prohibited or restricted in cosmetic products.

  • Annex II: substances prohibited from cosmetic products;
  • Annex III: substances only permitted in cosmetic products if they meet the restrictions and conditions stated;
  • Annex IV: substances permitted as colourants in cosmetic products;
  • Annex V: substances permitted as preservatives in cosmetic products;
  • Annex VI: substances permitted as UV filters in cosmetic products.

The annexes are regularly updated by the publication of amendments to Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009. Manufacturers, responsible persons (RPs), importers and distributors should refer to the amendments to find out if a change to the list affects a cosmetic product on the EEA market.  

You can view the amendments on the Cosmetics Legislation webpage of the European Commission website.

Using CosIng (Cosmetic Ingredient Database)

CosIng (Cosmetic Ingredient Database) is the European Commission online database that provides information about cosmetic ingredients contained in the cosmetic product legislative framework.

The CosIng database is useful for consumers, distributors, manufacturers, importers and RPs searching for more information about cosmetic ingredients. It provides easy access to regulatory information about ingredients listed in annexes II - VI to Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 on cosmetic products.

However, CosIng is not considered 100% accurate. Listing an ingredient in the CosIng database does not mean it has been accepted or approved for use in a cosmetic product. You should cross-check the information against the regulations.

If an ingredient is assigned with an INCI name and appears in the inventory section of the CosIng database, it does not mean it can be used in a cosmetic product or that it is approved for such use. A suitably qualified safety assessor should carry out a safety assessment before using an ingredient.

Register for the email HPRA alerting service

If you wish to receive notifications when such amendments are published, you can sign up to the HPRA alert system.

The HPRA will send notifications to notify subscribers about legal changes to ingredients used in cosmetic products. Anyone can register for the HPRA’s alerting service by following these steps:

  1. Go to hpra.ie/register
  2. Enter the required information, including contact information and a password
  3. Select ‘Update by email’ and click ‘Register’
  4. Click on the confirmation link sent to you by email
  5. Log in to ‘My HPRA’
  6. Select the following preferences:
    1. Under ‘Stakeholder Groups’, select ‘Industry’
    2. Under ‘Topics of Interest’, select ‘Regulatory’
    3. Under ‘Products of Interest’, select ‘Cosmetics’

If you have previously signed up to receive HPRA alerts, please check the above instruction to ensure your subscription preferences cover these alerts.