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June 12 2023

Why Vie de Mer Paris Looks to the EU for Clean Beauty Standards
Why Vie de Mer Paris Looks to the EU for Clean Beauty Standards

Clean beauty has gained a great deal of traction in recent years and is now the category for consumers who care about the safety of the products they apply to their skin. Clean beauty products are publicized as being non-toxic, i.e., free from potential and proven harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. But how clean are these products?

US consumers depend on the US FDA to protect their health and safety. What most consumers aren’t aware of is the vast difference between the US and the EU.  Under EU regulations, 1,328 chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive harm, or birth defects are banned from cosmetics. In contrast, the US FDA has banned or restricted only 11 chemicals from cosmetics.

There is an explanation. According to Nneka Leiba, Vice President of Healthy Living Science at the Environmental Working Group, US laws haven't been updated since 1938, and the FDA doesn't have the power or resources to appropriately restrict and prohibit ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products. Additionally, they don’t have the authority to issue a mandatory recall if a product causes harm, with their only recourse being to submit a recommendation to the responsible company.

In Europe, the regulatory framework for skincare products is primarily governed by the European Union (EU). The main legislation that sets the standards for skincare products in the EU is the EU Cosmetics Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009. This regulation establishes safety and labeling requirements for cosmetic products placed on the EU market. Some key aspects of the EU standard for skincare in Europe include:

  1. Products must be safe for human health when used under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions. Manufacturers are required to conduct safety assessments, including the evaluation of ingredients and potential risks associated with product use.
  2. Ingredient Restrictions: The EU maintains a list of banned or restricted ingredients in cosmetic products, known as Annex II of the EU Cosmetics Regulation. This includes substances classified as carcinogens, mutagens, or reproductive toxicants (CMRs). Additionally, certain ingredients may be restricted in terms of their maximum allowed concentration.
  3. Product Labeling: Skincare products in the EU must comply with specific labeling requirements outlined in the EU Cosmetics Regulation. This includes providing clear and accurate information on the product label, such as the ingredients, function, instructions for use, and potential warnings or precautions.
  4. Claims and Advertising: The EU Cosmetics Regulation also regulates the claims made on cosmetic product packaging and advertising. Claims must be truthful, not misleading, and supported by appropriate evidence. Certain claims, such as medicinal claims, are strictly regulated and may require additional authorization.
  5. Animal Testing Ban: In 2013, the EU implemented a ban on animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients within its territory. This means that skincare products sold in the EU must not have been tested on animals.

Furthermore, individual EU member states may have additional regulations or requirements related to skincare products, which can vary slightly. However, the EU Cosmetics Regulation sets the baseline standard that applies across the entire EU market, ensuring the safety and quality of skincare products available to consumers in Europe.

That’s why Vie de Mer products are EU certified, excluding all 1,328 ingredients from our products to make sure you have only the best and safest in your skincare. We want you to know with absolute certainty that whatever you’re putting on your skin is genuinely non-toxic. So, relax and luxuriate in the benefits of all that beauty sleep you need to support your hard-won healthy lifestyle. With Vie de Mer as your skincare choice, you can rest easy knowing your skin is safe, radiant, and flawlessly gorgeous.