As part of the project Tukes obtained 15 samples from physical and online stores and had them tested at the Customs Laboratory, inspecting the product labelling and analysing the products for certain forbidden dye substances, preservatives and hydrogen peroxide concentration.
“Product labelling and appropriate user instructions are important elements in the safety of hair dye products,” says legal adviser Pauliina Kanerva of Tukes. “Instructions and labelling must be provided in Finnish and in Swedish.”
Certain substances restricted
“Finnish cosmetics legislation is based on EU legislation, which restricts the use of certain substances in hair dye products. The restrictions are based on scientific risk assessments,” she continues.
Some products tested did not have any list of ingredients at all, while others had an incomplete list or the name of the allergenic substance was not included in the warning.
“Operators must ensure product safety before placing products on the market. The different levels of trade must also make sure for their part that only compliant products are offered for sale to consumers. There is no prior approval procedure for cosmetic products,” explains Tukes.
New labelling requirements introduced
The labelling requirements for hair dye products changed in November last year, as new warnings were required for hair dyes containing certain substances.
The allergenic effects of products must be specified more clearly, and products must contain the warning that the product is not recommended for use on persons under the age of 16.
“People start colouring their hair at a younger and younger age these days, which increases their exposure to sensitising substances,” Kanerva points out.
Hair dyes not labelled in accordance with the new requirements may no longer be placed on the market, and from 1 November 2012 the sales or other supply of products not compliant with the new requirements will be prohibited.