New threshold for formaldehyde in cosmetics

Changes in the regulation concerning the presence of formaldehyde in cosmetics mean that many more cosmetic products must be labelled with a specific warning.

Preservatives that release formaldehyde are used in both leave-on and rinse-off cosmetic products.

Products containing substances which are on the list of preservatives allowed for use in cosmetic products and which release formaldehyde must be labelled with the specific warning ‘contains formaldehyde’. The warning must be applied if the concentration of formaldehyde exceeds 0.001% (10 ppm). The former threshold was at 0.05%. This is evident from an amendment of Annex V in the EU regulation on cosmetic products.

The change has entered into force, but there is a transitional period for finished products which complied with the former threshold as per 30 July 2022. These products can be sold in the EU until 31 July 2026.

For more information about substances in cosmetic products, please contact:

Lise M. Møller 
Tel +45 4516 9133