Cosmetics firms in the European Union will soon be obliged to reveal whether a product has undesirable side effects and what substances it contains, if asked by a customer. New guidelines have been agreed between the European Commission, EU Member States and the cosmetics industry, although how much time should be allowed for a response is not specified in the decision. A spokesman in Brussels explains what has changed for the consumer:
“Obviously, you can send an email to a company now asking for information; The difference today is the producer can say he doesn’t want to answer, because that knowledge is confidential. In the future, starting now, if you call for more details, the producer has to answer.”
Cosmetics producers will have to disclose, for example, if they received reports of a product causing irritant and allergic effects, cosmetic acne, anaphylactic shock or itching. The producer would also have to disclose on request quantities of substances used which are classified as “dangerous” under EU rules, such as if they are oxidizing, easily flammable or toxic.