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Cosmetics - Your Online Guide

What is a cosmetic? 

To be marketed as a cosmetic in Australia, a product must meet the definition of a cosmetic in the Industrial Chemical (Notification and Assessment (Act 1989 and the Cosmetics Standard 2007. The cosmetics Guidelines are a plain-English guide to the legislation. The definition of a cosmetic includes:

 

A substance or preparation intended for placement in contact with any external part of the human body, including: the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and the teeth; with a view to: altering the odours of the body; or changing its appearance; or cleansing it; or maintaining it in good condition; or perfuming it; or protecting it.

Ingredients used in cosmetics and toiletries, including perfumes and fragrances, may be classed as industrial chemicals. This includes ingredients found in finished products - whether sold to the consumer or used in (for example) hair and beauty salons.

It also includes those cosmetic ingredients referred to as 'natural' ingredients or substances, such as oils, extracts and essences of plants. A naturally-occurring chemical means an unprocessed chemical occurring in a natural environment; or a chemical occurring in a natural environment, being a substance that is extracted by:

  • Manual, mechanical or gravitational means; or

  • Dissolution in water; or

  • Flotation; or

  • A process of heating for the sole purpose of removing uncombined water;

all without chemical change in the substance. These ingredients are exempt from NICNAS requirements.

 

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