Changes to the European Cosmetics Directive

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, European commission

Restrictions on allyl alcohol as an impurity and clarifications to the inclusion of verbena oil and its derivatives are two of the recent changes to the European Cosmetics Directive.

In a communication published at the end of December the European Commission adopted a number of modifications to the European Cosmetics Directive.

One of the modifications concerns the use of verbena oil as a fragrance ingredient in cosmetics products.

As a result of an SCCNFP (Scientific Committee on Consumers Products and Non Food products intended for consumers, now the SCCS) opinion in 2000, verbena oil (Lippia citriodora​ Kunth.) has been banned for use and included in Annex II of the Directive due to its sensitising potential.

However, verbena absolute obtained from the verbena oil is allowed for use in concentrations of up to 0.2 per cent of the finished cosmetic product.

The Commission has now decided to reword the Directive making it clear that verbena oil and its derivatives, other than verbena absolute are banned, and that the absolute’s use is restricted.

Allyl alcohol impurities

In addition, the December communication also included details of the restrictions of allyl alcohol as impurities within other ingredients. According to the Commission, the substance allyl phenethyl ether may contain free allyl alcohol as an impurity.

A SCCNFP opinion in 2000 instructed that this free allyl alcohol should never exceed 0.1 per cent so the Directive will be altered to include this information in Annex III where the limitations on the use of allyl phenethyl ether are used.

The Commission has also removed the reference to sinpine in notes on terpenes and terpenoids as it is a trade name.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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