EC considers a skin lightener and UV filter unsafe for cosmetics use

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

EC considers a skin lightener and UV filter unsafe for cosmetics use

Related tags: Cosmetics, Sccs

The European Commission has released its latest Opinion on two cosmetics ingredients, deoxyarbutin and phenylene bis-diphenyltriazine, and says they are not safe for use.

The Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) assessed the safety of the two ingredients and says it found that deoxyarbutin can release unsafe levels of hydroquinone, while phenylene bis-diphenyltriazine was said to have genotoxic and phototoxic potential.

Skin lightening

Deoxyarbutin is a skin lightening ingredient that is used in body and face products, with a facial cream being tested in this instance.

Scientific data previously provided shows that the ingredient can be considered safe for consumers in cosmetic products in a concentration up to 3% in face creams; however the SCCS notes that hydroquinone will be formed during the lifecycle of the product​.

Hydroquinone is banned under the EU cosmetics Regulation Annex II/1339, with some exceptions for professional use, and the concern in this instance is that depending on the storage conditions and stability under in-use conditions it may be released at levels which raise concerns with regard to the safety of such products during life-cycle of the product.

“Therefore, the overall conclusion of the SCCS is that the use of deoxyarbutin up to 3% in face creams is not safe,”​ says the Opinion.

UV filter

As for phenylene bis-diphenyltriazin, this was assessed as a UV filter in sunscreen products in a concentration up to 10%​, with the SCCS concluding that it could not exclude the possibility that the substance may have genotoxic and phototoxic potential.

“The SCCS considers Phenylene bis-diphenyltriazine, S86, not safe for use as a UV-filter in sunscreen products in a concentration up to 10.0% taking into account the scientific data provided. SCCS cannot exclude that Phenylene bis-diphenyltriazine may have a genotoxic potential,”​ it says.

With regards to any further scientific concerns of the use of Phenylene bis-diphenyltriazine, S86, as a UV-filter, the SCCS says that an adequate physico-chemical characterisation should be provided.

The tests conducted on eye irritation and skin sensitisation were considered inconclusive, and the phototoxicity potential can as yet not be excluded; while the Committee also notes that the use of phenylene bisdiphenyltriazine as an ingredient in sunscreen products might lead to environmental exposure.

Both Opinions are open for comment until 23 October.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Skin Care

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