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Cosmetics - Your Online Guide

 

Cosmetics that are also therapeutic goods

 

Products that are cosmetics but are also intended to:

  • Treat, alleviate or prevent disease, defects or injuries, or otherwise; or

  • Affect the structure or functions of the human body; or
    contain ingredients which may have a therapeutic effect; or
    claim to have a therapeutic effect;

  • Are considered to be therapeutic goods. (A full definition appears in Part 1, Section 3, of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.)

The difference between a cosmetic and a therapeutic product is determined by two basic factors: (1) the composition of the product, and (2) the proposed use and claims of the product. The presence of certain ingredients, or the concentration of an ingredient, may make the product sufficiently hazardous to be unsuitable for classification as a cosmetic.

The proposed use of the product is often the main determining factor as to whether it is a cosmetic or a therapeutic product. Claims for use can be direct, or may be by implication. In all cases, claims made with regard to cosmetic products must not be misleading or deceptive. Misleading or deceptive claims may amount to a contravention of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), including the possibility of fines.

Further information (including the Cosmetics Claims Guidelines) is available on the TGA’s website at www.tga.gov.au Contact the TGA if you are not sure if your product is a cosmetic or a therapeutic good.
 

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