European Commission approves zinc oxide as a UV filter in cosmetics
As per the Standing Committee’s Agenda, zinc oxide in both its nano and non-nano form will be suitable for use as a UV filter, with official entry into Annex VI of the EU Cosmetics Regulation expected from early 2016.
UV Filters are used in sunscreens and cosmetics as they reduce the amount of ultraviolet light penetrating into the skin by reflecting, dispersing or converting it into heat.
In sunscreens, zinc oxide is known for its broadband UV protection and stability and is aphysical UV filter which forms a thin film on the skin and reflects sun rays, rather than penetrating the skin, meaning it does not cause damage.
Industry welcomes decision
The news that the compound has been deemed safe by the Cosmetics Working Group has been welcomed by ingredient supplier Croda, who develops such ingredients for sunscreen applications.
“By formally approving new options to achieve effective UVA and UVB protection, this is a major milestone for formulators of UV protection products who will now have a wider choice of globally approved UV filters to meet consumers’ needs,” comments Helene Hine, Marketing Manager.
“Croda firmly believes in the value of mineral UV filters and are pleased with this recent development and the opportunities it opens up for both our customers and ultimately the end consumer,” she adds.
Other points of note
In the same meeting agenda, the EU Commission Working Group on Cosmetics also voted to approve potassium hydroxide (KOH) for use in cosmetic products that remove or soften calluses, as well as trimethylbenzoyl diphenylphosphine oxide (TPO) as an ingredient in nail modelling products, for professional use.
Quaternium-15, which is a quaternary ammonium salt and is classed as an allergen, was also officially removed from the list of authorised preservatives under the cosmetics Regulation, and is due to be classified as a CMR; and is already banned in cosmetic products.
The meeting also saw a decision made on concentration limits for use of the substance diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (DEGEE), in line with an assessment by the SCCS.