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Regulatory Issues Front of Mind

Claire Thévenin

Ingredients, claims and endocrine disruptors were some of the many subjects discussed at the ninth edition of Cosmetic Valley’s Congrès Parfums & Cosmétiques on regulatory issues, held in Chartres, France, in November.

Selecting Ingredients

Choosing raw materials that comply with international regulations has become a very demanding process, Pascal Courtellemont, in charge of product safety at LVMH Recherche, told the audience at the Congrès Parfums & Cosmétiques. The selection of ingredients has become crucial, both for safety and commercial issues, and the global regulatory framework is imposing new criteria. In particular, the European Regulation on cosmetic products (EC No 1223/2009), which will go into effect in July 2013, puts a stronger focus on the safety assessment—notably on systemic toxicity. Data will no longer be sufficient in Europe, and the “weight of evidence” concept will become mandatory.

In parallel, Chinese regulation (“hygienic standard of cosmetic”) is making it difficult for industry players to register “novel ingredients.” Israel, Canada and Brazil, too, have adopted requirements for more data. Therefore, suppliers are now expected to provide much more data. As industry veteran Pierre Perrier of Essential Consulting noted, the world has changed over the past 15 years, and suppliers must now focus on a better balance between safety and efficacy tests when selling their ingredients.

Claims Will Be Controlled

Anne Dux, vice president of science and regulatory affairs in charge of European affairs, French Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté (FEBEA), presented an overview of product claims allowable in the EU Regulation on Cosmetics, which will adopt a list of common criteria for claims that may be used, and will submit a report to the EU Parliament and the Council by July 2016.

Member states will then be charged with ensuring these criteria are met. In 2010, a working group was created—consisting of EU member states, industry representatives and BEUC (the European Consumers’ Organisation)—to establish the criteria.

Currently, in France, the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP) regulates marketing claims made for beauty products under its “cosmetics code.” It includes specific recommendations on anti-aging (that, for example, the action of the product can only be claimed on the appearance of skin and on slimming products—references to weight loss or cellulite are forbidden). The code also focuses on the clear distinction between efficacy tests and satisfaction tests.

Endocrine Disruptors Are Not All Alike

Despite the absence of a real consensus on the definition of endocrine disruptors (ED), they have definitely become major health concerns for consumers. Robert Barouki, professor of biochemistry and director of the Toxicologie Pharmacologie et Signalisation Cellulaire division of Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) gave a brilliant presentation on ED, including phthalates and parabens, insisting distinctions be made due to the wide variety of targets, mechanisms of action, and availability of data and results. Regarding parabens, he called for vigilance, adding that they were not the most risky ED but far fewer studies have been conducted compared to BPA or phthalates. He also touched on the “cocktail effect” and the worrying issue of possible health effects even with low dose exposure, which has been demonstrated even with relatively large amounts of data yet to be gathered and assessed.

Marionnaud Renovates Its French Stores

A European leader in selective distribution, Marionnaud has launched an ambitious program to renovate most of its stores in France, where the beauty retailer trails only Sephora in sales.

Marionnaud is employing its three P’s concept (Proximity, Pleasure and Professionalism) to renovate doors to better adjust to changing consumer habits. In 2011, the retailer invested €10 million to modify 70 stores (out of 572), and in a statement, Marionnaud CEO William G. Koeberlé said the results of the renovations were promising. In 2012, renovations for another 100 doors are planned, and 140 will be renovated in 2013. The three P’s concept is being applied to all existing store sizes, from 20- to 900-square meters.

In addition to a traditional selection of beauty brands, Marionnaud retails its own private label and approximately 15 exclusive brands—including Sen, Le Couvent des Minimes (made by L’Occitane), Qiriness, Polaar and Gosh. In addition to products, 254 stores also include a beauty salon.

Marionnaud was created in France in 1984, and now has 3,650 employees. In Europe, the chain has a presence across Europe, operating more than 1,100 locations.

Claire Thévenin is a freelance journalist based in Paris. She has covered the beauty industry since 2005, specializing in European Union regulations.

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