product categories

Cosmetic products

What is a cosmetic?

The law defines a cosmetic as a product which cleanses, improves or alters the complexion, skin, hair or teeth. A beauty product or grooming aid is usually categorized as a cosmetic, but will be legally classified as a drug if it makes any claims to modify body functions, to prevent or treat disease.

Here are one example :

  • A deodorant is a cosmetic because they stop the smell of perspiration.
  • An antiperspirant is a drug because it removes perspiration.

How are they regulated in Canada?

On 1 December 2004, Health Canada pubished the new Regulations on cosmetics. This new regulation requires the listing of ingredients on the label for all cosmetic products sold in Canada. This measure, along with other changes made on the cosmetic regulations, strengthens the protection of health and safety of the Canadian public regarding the use of cosmetics. This change entered into force on November 16, 2006. This means that companies selling cosmetics in Canada must comply with the new requirements.

Who is affected by this regulation?

The manufacturer must submit to Health Canada a Declaration of cosmetics, together with information regarding labeling and safety. The ingredients must be listed according to the INCI nomenclature. Health Canada is reviewing the ingredients to determine if they meet the requirements.

And if I don’t comply with this regulation ?

Only ingredients that do not pose an unreasonable health and safety risk to the Canadian public, when used according to directions, are allowed in cosmetic products. Where a cosmetic product may pose a risk to health: The Company may be required to provide additional information; tests can be performed on the product; a risk assessment can be undertaken.

The various corrective actions are:

  • The reformulation of the product or ask a new label on it;
  • withdraw the product from the market / voluntary recall;
  • importation refusal;
  • seizure and disposal;
  • issue a public notice.

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BNA Consultants group

385, avenue vinet, 
Dorval (Québec) H9S 2M7
Phone: 514 774-1046
Fax:  514 631-3868

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