Cosmetic Products Legislation

A "cosmetic product" means any substance or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body or with the teeth. e.g. toothpastes, soaps, deodorants, sun protection creams, make-up products.

The role of the Environmental Health Officer is to ensure that the European Communities (Cosmetic Products) Regulations 2004 are complied with. To do this the Environmental Health Officer carries out inspections and takes samples of cosmetic products.

In general the legislation states that a person shall not place on the market any cosmetic product which is likely to cause damage to human health when used under normal conditions.

The regulations specify ingredients which are not permitted or the use of which is restricted in cosmetic products and outlines a list of details that must be included on the labels.

A person, who contravenes this law and is found guilty of an offence can be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.


EHOs frequently receive Consumer Alert Notifications regarding cosmetic products from Ireland and the EU via the Department of Health & Children.

These alerts relate to products that pose a risk to the consumers due to the presence of certain substances which are banned or the use of which is restricted in cosmetic products under the above legislation. EHOs follow up these Alerts to ensure that the product has been removed from sale and that all necessary action has been taken to protect the public.

Click here to read our information leaflet Cosmetic Products – The Role of the Retailer

Click here to contact your Environmental Health Officer