REACH is currently undergoing it second reading in parliament and is expected to become a part of EU legislation as early as the end of next year. Its aim is to regulate the use of chemicals across all industries, ensuring both safety and quality.
With respect to the cosmetics industry, the legislation is expected to have a more significant impact on suppliers, but it still means a considerable amount of work for producers of finished products.
L'Oreal says that for the most part, REACH has led to increased workloads updating its ingredients catalogues, which are used for the manufacturing of all its finished products worldwide.
The company said that its efforts in this area meant that it was already making 'significant headway', towards meeting the requirements of REACH, well ahead of its proposed enforcement.
"At present, the L'Oréal Group wishes to stress its priority commitments, which revolve around consumer safety, respect for the environment, the quality of marketed products and scientific innovation. These commitments drive growth and are a valuable source of progress," company spokesperson Mike Rumsby said.
The REACH programme will also cut down on the extent to which cosmetics companies can test ingredients on animals. Although the testing of finished cosmetics products was outlawed in 1998, the testing of chemicals used in cosmetics is still allowed.
However, the aim of REACH is also to outlaw the testing of all chemicals on animals, a goal that L'Oreal says it is already working towards.
In line with this, the company announced at the start of the year that it had acquired SkinEthic, a company that tests skin care products, and particularly sunscreens, using a method that has perfected the commercialisation of human epidermal tissues.
L'Oreal hopes that the investment in the company will later give it an effective means of testing all types of ingredients on the simulated human skin.
UK-based natural cosmetics maker Lush last month criticized the REACH programme, stating that in particular it was not doing enough to speed up a total ban for the testing of cosmetics ingredients.