Last week, the pan-European trade association Cosmetics Europe launched the COSMILE Europe database detailing the properties, functions and origins of close to 30,000 cosmetics ingredients. Available in 14 different languages and navigated via common ingredient names or INCI [International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient] names, the database was designed to help consumers “easily find information on cosmetics ingredients”.
The platform also provided information on cosmetic product regulations and safety testing, with key issues addressed such as animal testing, endocrine disruptors, allergens, preservatives and sunscreens.
A tool for European citizens
The initiative had been completed in partnership with the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (IKW) that created the original COSMILE database which was handed over to Cosmetics Europe in 2021 and in collaboration with the French Federation for Beauty Companies (FEBEA) that had added scientific information to complete content, and thus built on extensive work already undertaken. The initiative had also been supported by a raft of Cosmetics Europe member associations* that had helped with translation efforts and would promote the tool on a national level in their respective countries. German software firm health&media GmbH had supported the technical development of the platform.
“Cosmetics Europe is delighted to be sharing this tool with European citizens,” said John Chave, director-general of Cosmetics Europe.
“There’s a deluge of information on cosmetics on the internet and it can be difficult to know which sources are reliable. The European cosmetics and personal care industry wants to provide European citizens with a simple way to access reliable, verified and scientifically supported information on cosmetics ingredients,” Chave said.
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, he said the database was especially relevant for today’s consumer because it offered a “one-stop shop” for this information and ultimately acted as an “educational tool” for European citizens.
The database would be translated into more languages next year, he said, widening access even further.
Beauty brand and retailer engagement?
Asked if plans were in place to engage beauty brands and retailers on the initiative, Chave said: “We are reflecting on how corporate members can get involved and promote the initiative with consumers.”
The long-term goal of COSMILE Europe, he said, was to “increase transparency in relation to cosmetic products and their ingredients” by providing easy access to such information.
In recent years, beauty brands had shifted gears on transparency, joining forces in many cases under collectives to improve consumer education and engagement on beauty and personal care products, largely on the environmental side.
In 2021, a group of leading beauty majors, for example, founded the EcoBeautyScore Consortium, designed to establish a brand-agnostic and transparent global environmental scoring system. Brands had also worked individually, with Estée Lauder Companies publishing a method to score ingredients, formulations and products on their green value in 2022 and L’Oréal launching a sustainability impact tool for its Garnier brand back in 2020.
A Collaborative Trade Effort
*18 national association members involved in the project thus far: Association of the Austrian Chemical Industry (FCIO); Association of Detergents and Cosmetics Producers and Importers of Serbia (KOZMODET); Belgian - Luxembourg Association for manufacturers and distributors of cosmetics, detergents, cleaning products, adhesives and sealants, biocides, related products and aerosol technology (DETIC); Bulgarian National Association Essential Oils, Perfumery and Cosmetics (BNAEOPC); Cosmetica Italia, Dutch Cosmetics Association (NCV); Finnish Cosmetic and Hygiene Industry Association (Kosmetiikka- ja hygieniateollisuus ry); German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (IKW); Hungarian Cosmetic and Home Care Association (KOZMOS); Lithuanian Cosmetics and Household Chemicals Producers Association (LIKOCHEMA); Polish Association of Cosmetics and Detergent Industry (PACDI); Polish Union of Cosmetics Industry (Kosmetyczni); Romanian Union of Cosmetics and Detergent Manufacturers (RUCODEM); Spanish Cosmetics, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (STANPA); Swiss Cosmetics and Detergent Association (SKW); The French Federation for Beauty Companies (FEBEA); The Hellenic Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association (PSVAK); and the UK Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA).