HomeSafety of cosmetics - your safety matters to usAre there any toxic ingredients in cosmetics? No!

All ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products undergo many studies, run by both industry expert scientists and independent scientists reporting to authorities across the world, before being introduced to the market. Also, every single cosmetic product must be approved by a safety expert before being sold. This safety assessment looks at the wealth of science behind the ingredients, who uses the products, how they are used and how often over a lifetime. Once in the marketplace, companies continue to monitor consumers' use of their products and any new science that becomes available to affirm a product's ongoing safety. Cosmetic products in the UK must pass these strict assessments which are governed by the UK Cosmetics Regulation, a mandatory system which is a gold standard for safety.

Many claims are made online, via apps and other sources questioning the ingredients in our favourite products. These rumours do not take into account the vast amount of science and expertise behind every cosmetic ingredient and product. Misinformation is spread very easily, and sensational headlines can also cause fear. However, decisions over safety must be based on facts and data, on the evidence itself, and not on rumours or myths - no matter how often reported.

Cosmile – information about cosmetic ingredients

If you have seen a chemical name on a product’s ingredient list, or heard about an ingredient and want to know what it is and why it’s in your product, COSMILE Europe is here to help. holds the facts about almost 30,000 cosmetic ingredients; for example, it will tell you what an ingredient does, whether it is natural or man-made, which product categories it can be found in, why people are talking about it and the science behind its safety. 

To find the information, it is possible to search the COSMILE website using the ingredient name which is shown on the ingredient list on the product label or in some cases, on the brand or retailer’s website.  All cosmetic ingredient names in the UK and EU follow a standard format called INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients).  Although the primary purpose of this system is to ensure that people with a diagnosed allergy have clarity on which substance they need to avoid, in this case it helps to simplify the process of searching for information because it means that the same word will always be used to describe a specific substance.  

COSMILE also answers important and topical questions about cosmetic and personal care products.  It explains why cosmetic ingredients do not disrupt the endocrine system, the animal testing ban, and why some people can unfortunately experience allergies to cosmetic ingredients. 

The organisation behind COSMILE is Cosmetics Europe, the European personal care association, supported by a number of cosmetic and personal care associations across Europe, including CTPA.  COSMILE is currently available in fourteen languages and more will soon be available.   

Cosmetics Europe is delighted to be sharing this tool with European citizens. 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
John Chave, Director General of Cosmetics Europe

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