New European cosmetics regulations will not have an adverse effect on the industry’s ability to innovate, according to a recent discussion at in-cosmetics in Paris this week.
Changes to the EU Cosmetics Directive, which are expected to come into force in 2012, are aiming to increase product safety by strengthening certain aspects of the regulatory framework.
“Innovation will not die because of regulations,” said panelist Eric Perrier, executive vice president of R&D at LVMH. “Frames are changing but they are simply creating a new area for innovation,” he explained.
Using the analogy of a framed painting, Perrier said: “A strong regulatory framework is providing a frame in which to be innovative. You can have a nice painting within the frame.”
Anticipating regulatory frameworks
According to panelist Patricia Pineau, director of research communications at L’Oreal, listening to consumer concerns can be a way of anticipating regulatory frameworks.
“Companies like L’Oreal have huge teams dedicated to regulatory affairs,” she said, adding that “The only way to innovate is to anticipate regulatory frameworks. "
"If you listen to societal concerns over certain ingredients, or animal testing for example, several years before the regulations are published, then you are able to innovate,” she said.
Regulations are positive
Nica Lewis, head consultant at Mintel Beauty Innovations and fellow panelist at the discussion, said another angle to look at when considering the impact of the new regulations is what Europe is doing in terms of consumer protection.
According to Lewis, as consumer safety is a very important issue, strengthening regulations is a positive step, and not one that will close out other brands from selling in the European market.