European Commission Restricts Substances Used in Hair Dyes

A Lastest News about Hairdressing, Beauty Treatment in France

Posted on: 31 Aug 2012


August 2, 2012 - The European Commission (EC) has amended the European Union (EU) Cosmetics Directive to prohibit the use of HC Red No. 16 and to restrict the use of 23 other substances used in hair dye products by September 1, 2013.


The Cosmetics Directive is the primary legislation regulating the composition, labeling and packaging of cosmetic products in the EU. It was originally adopted in 1976 and is the subject of frequent alterations, having been amended more than 69 times. EU Member States are responsible for implementing the directive, which means that national authorities must adopt additional legislation to enforce its provisions. EU Member States will no longer need to adopt such legislation once the Cosmetics Regulation enters into force on July 11, 2013.

Focus on Hair Dyes

The EC’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has been assessing substances found in hair dyes since a 2001 study suggested that women who use these products may experience a higher rate of cancer. The EC may amend its cosmetics legislation further after reviewing the outcome of the assessment process.

Action Taken

Implementing Directive 2012/21/EU adds one substance, HC Red No. 16, to the list of prohibited substances found in Annex II of the Cosmetics Directive. The remaining 23 substances were added to Annex III, which places restrictions on their use. The restrictions generally set maximum concentrations allowed in the finished product.

EU Member States have until March 1, 2013, to adopt measures to implement this legislation. National measures must enter into force no later than September 1, 2013.


• U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Mission the EU report on cosmetics

• EC webpage on cosmetics

Read the full market research report

Posted: 31 August 2012