Global ingredients to environmental concern: the future challenges for beauty regulation

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Global ingredients to environmental concern: the future challenges for beauty regulation
In this final part of our exclusive interview with Gerald Renner, Director Technical Regulatory and International Affairs, Cosmetics Europe, we look ahead to the major regulatory concerns on the horizon.

Renner will be one of the expert speakers at next month’s Cosmetics Europe Annual Conference, 13-14 June 2018,  is a leading event in the European beauty industry calendar.

Full details of the conference and how you can register can be found here​.

What do you predict will become the key regulatory concerns for beauty in 2020 onwards? Are these global or regional concerns?

One of the biggest challenges in the future will be the de facto disappearance of borders through cross-border eCommerce.

How will regulators manage and enforce local regulatory compliance of products that are ordered on a global market place?

This is less a question of changing the Cosmetics Regulation but rather of finding smart ways of applying its principles in this new scenario.

Globalisation of ingredients

Another development is the globalisation of ingredient issues.  

Concerns - whether justified or not - that are raised in one region nowadays travel very quickly around the globe.

The industry needs to develop and voice its scientific answers with a similar global spirit.

It is very important to continue and even expand the close cooperation between the cosmetic industry associations in all the major regions.

Environmental issues

I also think that there will be more spill-over of environmental issues from a ‘chemicals debate’ to a ‘cosmetics debate’.

One can argue that the environmental impact of substances is best addressed horizontally i.e. looking at the combined environmental load from all products using the substance, rather than by studying each sector separately.

However, any regulatory risk management measures may need to be taken on a sector-by -sector basis.

The REACH Regulation allows to regulate cosmetic ingredients for environmental reasons (and has done so in the past).

It is interesting to see that cosmetics have become a poster child for some environmental issues, such as microplastics and endocrine disruptors.

Although the REACH mechanisms continue to be the best regulatory tool to address these types of environmental issues, I am sure that there will be pressure for opening up the Cosmetics Regulation to environmental requirements.

Barriers to trade

Lastly, over the past year a somewhat schizophrenic situation has developed with an increased interest in collaboration by international cosmetic regulators, contrasted by growing protectionism placing major trade agreements at risk.

Our industry has and will continue to fight against technical/regulatory barriers to trade (see other instalments of this interview for more on this).

All of these challenges are truly global and industry needs to respond to them as a global industry.

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