What is a Cosmetic?
Cosmetics are a part of just about everyone’s life. Every day, most of us use products like soap, moisturizing creams, or shampoo. In Canada, cosmetic products are defined as “any substance or mixture of substances, manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth and includes deodorants and perfumes.” All cosmetic products sold in Canada must comply with the Canadian Food and Drugs Act and its Cosmetic Regulations. Before selling any cosmetic products according to section 30 of the Cosmetic Regulations, all manufacturers and importers are required to submit a fully completed Cosmetic Notification Form (CNF) to Health Canada within the first 10 days of the first sale within Canada.
Are your Cosmetic Ingredients safe by Health Canada Standards?
Most cosmetics are safe, but they can sometimes cause health problems, like allergic reactions and skin irritation. To determine if an ingredient is safe for use in cosmetics, You must ensure that none of the ingredients are restricted as shown on the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. You can also refer to Health Canada Cosmetic Safety for more information related to cosmetic safety and other adverse effects.
What are the Key Components I Need on My Cosmetic Label?
Sometimes the consumer or other interest groups must know the identity of the party that is responsible for a product. This party is often known as the manufacturer or dealer. Therefore, cosmetic labels need to include the name of the manufacturer or dealer if they need to be contacted.
The INCI name refers to the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredient name. INCI is the acceptable terminology for listing ingredients on the label. The INCI names are based on Latin and considered multi-lingual therefore the French or English ingredient names do not need to be provided on the label, only the INCI names.
The outer label is often described as the outer carton label (i.e., the label on a box containing a bottle of a cosmetic product). On the outer label, the declaration of product identity must appear in both English and French on the principal display panel. The declaration must contrast both with the background of the label and all other information. All cosmetic products require the ingredient names to be listed on the outer label. Ingredients must be listed in decreasing order of predominance in their concentration by weight
On the inner label, the declaration of product identity must appear in both English and French on the principal display panel. The declaration must contrast clearly with the background and all other information that appears on the label.
Obvious Identity: In certain cases, if the identity of a product such as an eyebrow pencil, an automatic mascara applicator, or a compact including powder and puff may be considered obvious, a written declaration of product identity would not be necessary. However, if the product is in an opaque container, the identity of the product must be expressed.
Single Expressions: Certain expressions are considered officially bilingual in themselves, such as “parfum,” “eau de toilette,” or “cologne.” The requirements are the same as those for the outer labels of products that have both an outer and inner label.
Additional Panels: The labels of some pre-packaged products are composed of one or more additional panels of the same size and prominence as the principal display panel. The product identifier may be given on the principal display panel in only one of the two official languages if it is also given in the other language on one of the other panels.
Typeface: There is no restriction concerning the typeface that may be used. The information, however, must be legible.
Net Quantity of the Product
The packaging and label should be constructed or presented in such a way that the consumer will not be misled about the quality or quantity of the product contained inside.
As required by sections 22, 23, and 36 of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, the declaration of the net quantity of a pre-packaged product must be expressed
- by volume when the product is a liquid, gas, or viscous substance (mL, L)
- by weight when the product is a solid (g, kg)
Failure to notify Health Canada may result in a product being refused entry into Canada or removed from sale. A Cosmetic Notification is not a product application, evaluation, or approval procedure. You are required to make sure that the product is classified as a cosmetic and complies with all regulatory requirements. Our Experts at Quality Smart Solutions can help review your ingredients, file your Cosmetic Notification and ensure you have a compliant label. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your smooth entrance to market as well as your compliant needs during and aftermarket.
Canada, Health. “Government of Canada.” Canada.ca, / Gouvernement Du Canada, 22 July 2020, https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumer-product-safety/reports-publications/industry-professionals/labelling-cosmetics.html.
Canada, Health. “Government of Canada.” Canada.ca, / Gouvernement Du Canada, 16 Feb. 2021, https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumer-product-safety/cosmetics/regulatory-information.html.
Branch, Legislative Services. “Consolidated Federal Laws of Canada, Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations.” Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, 16 Nov. 2021, https://lois-laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._417/.