You have no items in your shopping cart.
If you are looking to sell your products, please ensure your ingredients are listed correctly
Cosmetics ingredients labelling
The mandatory standard prescribes the requirements the labelling of cosmetic products.
The mandatory standard for ingredients labelling on cosmetics came into effect on 29 October 1991 and was last amended 23 May 2008.
The Trade Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Cosmetics) Regulations 1991 (link is external) prescribes the requirements for this mandatory standard. Suppliers may also find the Regulation impact statement — Cosmetics ( PDF 981.08 KB ) helpful in understanding aspects of the mandatory standard.
Under the mandatory standard, cosmetic products are substances or preparations intended for placement in contact with any external part of the body, including the mouth and teeth, for the purpose of:
- altering the odours of the body
- changing the appearance of the body
- cleansing the body
- maintaining the body in good condition
- perfuming the body
- protecting the body.
The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) also has a cosmetic standard (link is external) that you can view on the NICNAS website.
The following goods are exempt from the mandatory information standard:
- therapeutic goods within the meaning of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989
- cosmetics manufactured in Australia for export
- free samples of cosmetic products
- testers of a cosmetic product.
The following provides some key information on the labelling and testing requirements for this mandatory standard.
- Product ingredient information should be available to consumers at the point of sale.
- The listing of product ingredients is required on the container or on the product itself, if not packed in a container.
- Where the container or the product is of a size, shape or nature that prevents ingredient labelling by any of the above methods, the mandatory information standard requires the display of information to allow consumers to be informed.
- The labelling of ingredients on cosmetics such as make-up, deodorant or moisturiser usually appears on the packaging or outer casing of the product for consumer knowledge.
- When listing ingredients, the ingredients need to appear in descending order calculated by either mass or volume.
- Alternatively, the mandatory standard allows for the listing of ingredients in the following way:
- ingredients (except colour additives) in concentrations of 1 per cent or more in descending order by volume or mass
- followed by ingredients (except for colour additives) in concentrations of less than 1 per cent in any order
- followed by colour additives in any order.
- The mandatory information standard does not require the listing of the quantity or percentage of each ingredient.
While the standard does not require testing, before suppliers can label cosmetics accurately, they need to establish that the volume or mass is correct.
Questions often asked about labelling:
(1) Is it okay to use just the CI number on a product label?
The regulation states that, “The names of the ingredients in the list must be either their English names or their International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient names.” You may wish to include the CI number, but the number by itself would not suffice.
(2) Would it be permitted to simply have a colourant list separate to the product label the customer can read?
In respect of the List of Ingredients requirements, the regulation states, “If subregulation (1) or (2) cannot be complied with in relation to a container or a cosmetic product because of its: (a) size; or (b) shape; or (c) nature; a list of the product’s ingredients must be shown in another way that ensures that a consumer can be informed about the ingredients in the product.” You may therefore include a full list of ingredients with the cosmetic separately if the list is too extensive to legibly print on the product label.
(3) I've also seen a weight label stating 100g (when packed), and would like to ask if that is legal. I understood it was usually 100g net and the supplier usually gave some average in the weight.
The National Measurement Institute regulates the requirements for trade measurements, which may also apply to the goods you supply. I suggest you contact the NMI if you have any questions about meeting the trade measurements requirements: http://www.measurement.gov.au/Pages/contact.aspx
You should also be cautious about any claims you make in respect of the quantity or quality of the goods you supply, including any of their ingredients. Information about suppliers’ responsibilities in this regard and the penalties that apply for making false or misleading claims can be found on the Product Safety Australia website: https://www.accc.gov.au/…/mislea…/false-or-misleading-claims