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Legal definition of a cosmetic product

A cosmetic product, according to the legal definition that applies in all European Union countries, is a substance or mixture specially designed to come into contact with the external parts of the human body, such as the skin, hair, nails, lips, external genitalia, teeth and oral mucosa. Its main, if not exclusive, purpose is to clean, perfume, modify appearance, protect or correct body odors.

Let’s take a look at the products officially recognized as cosmetics. Here are a few examples:

  • Skin creams, emulsions, lotions, gels and oils
  • Beauty masks
  • Foundations in liquid, paste or powder form
  • Make-up powders, after-bath powders, body hygiene powders
  • Toilet soaps and deodorant soaps
  • Perfumes, toilet waters and colognes
  • Bath and shower preparations, such as salts, foams, oils and gels
  • Depilatories
  • Deodorants and antiperspirants
  • Hair dyes
  • Hair products for waving, straightening and setting
  • Hair styling products
  • Hair cleansers such as lotions, powders and shampoos
  • Hair care products, such as lotions, creams and oils
  • Styling products, such as lotions, lacquers and glosses
  • Shaving products, such as soaps, foams and lotions
  • Make-up and make-up removal products
  • Products for application to the lips
  • Nail care and make-up products
  • Products for external intimate hygiene and intimate cleansing gel
  • Suncare and self-tanning products
  • Skin lightening products
  • Anti-wrinkle products

To better understand this vast range of cosmetic products, they are divided into several categories:

Hygiene products: these include all products used to clean and maintain the face and body, such as shower gel, deodorant and shaving foam.

Skincare products: this category includes products used to modify or improve the appearance of the face and body, such as skincare creams or skin-lightening products.

Sun protection products: this category includes sun creams, self-tanners and after-sun lotions, essential for protecting your skin during exposure to the sun.

Make-up products: these are products used to beautify the face and enhance features, such as lipsticks, foundations, nail polish, etc.

Perfumery: here we find perfumes and eaux de parfums, which add a touch of pleasant scent to your beauty routine.

Hair products: everything to do with styling, from shampoos to hair treatments to hair coloring.

Now let’s move on to the ingredients used in cosmetics. They fall into three categories:

Ingredients of natural origin: these ingredients are highly valued for their virtues, and are used almost unchanged in cosmetic products. When we speak of ingredients of natural origin, we mean plant, animal or mineral ingredients that may have undergone slight processing.

Processed ingredients of natural origin: this category has many similarities with natural ingredients, but it is important not to confuse them. An ingredient is said to be « processed natural » when it comes from a plant, animal or mineral source, but has undergone a slight chemical transformation. This transformation is achieved through a chemical process, even if the basic ingredient is of natural origin.

Synthetic ingredients: these are ingredients created entirely in the laboratory, with no direct link to natural sources. These synthetic ingredients are designed to reproduce or enhance certain cosmetic properties. They can be used in combination with ingredients of natural origin or transformed natural ingredients to obtain the desired characteristics in cosmetic products.

It is important to note that a cosmetic product can only be described as « natural » if its natural ingredient content is 95% or higher.

The aim of all this information is to provide you with knowledge, ensure safety, guarantee regulatory compliance of cosmetic products and protect consumers. Laboratoire Orescience Quality & Regulatory Service experts are here to support you every step of the way. Our role is to support our customers by providing them with advice, expertise and the tools they need to guarantee the compliance and safety of their cosmetic products.

Because your success is also our success, Laboratoire Orescience puts all the expertise of its teams at your service and develops for you, and with you, your tailor-made cosmetic formula, white label or private label, effective and innovative.

Send us your specifications, and let’s build together a unique offer for your brand!

Private Label Manufacturing | Cosmetics and Dermo-cosmetics

The Research and Development division of Laboratoire Orescience offer OEM Private Label | manufacturing solutions. Do you have a project ? Would you like to develop your own line of cosmetics, dietary supplements, haircare and perfumes ? Do you want to distribute our brands Orescience, Dermoskin and Exo Keratin ? Do not hesitate to contact us.
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Laboratoire Orescience is specialized in formulation, development and contract manufacturing of cosmetic products, perfumes and food supplements, made in France 🇫🇷

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