Show us your nuts.
If you have a cosmetic brand that you want to sell in the EU you will have to comply to an ever-tightening array of rules and regulations. In fact, from July 2013 the guidelines (or directives) become law and we all know what that means………
UPDATE: Now before I go on I want to stress that labeling nut oils with a warning is not something that the EU currently requires as all ingredients should be labelled using their designated INCI (often latin) names. However, after a working with a few brands who do label their products with a ‘contains nuts’ notice I thought it would actually be quite useful. I found this from the CTPA which identifies potential nut allergens (this doesn’t mean to say that they are allergenic in skin care as refined oils often aren’t) and I also tried to find out what the EU commission found when they looked into topically applied peanut oil as they have been doing since 2009. I didn’t find much but what I did notice was that globally labeling nut allergens is growing in popularity and I say why not as even after working in the industry for 15 years it would take me a good few minutes to scroll through the average moisturizer to pick out nut oils whereas a quick ‘contains nuts’ would take less than a second.
Is there any need? I don’t see this as being much different to the nano particle issue in terms of whether to add a label warning or not. Incidence of topically applied nut allergy problems are not huge and are mostly limited to local reactions at the application site but that said research into topically applied nut oils causing sensitisation is patchy hence the EU review into Peanuts. Some scientists even believe that a bit of nut oil on your skin could help you overcome an allergy (I tried that with cats. It didn’t work for me….) but again the research is incomplete. Anyway, that is the background to this article. Label with a ‘contains nuts’ notice or not, the choice is yours I guess and my apologies to anyone who thought that the laws just changed behind their back. They didn’t.
There are many labelling requirements to abide by but one that is likely to become more important is the labelling of potential allergens. Allergens in foods have to be declared in many countries now and I am sure that cosmetics will be no different. For the time being many brands are choosing to highlight the fact that their product contains potential allergens using a similar format to that used in foods. As an allergy sufferer myself I think this is a good idea.
For nut oils:
Add the following warning to your label in clear text under the ingredients listing if poss: “Contains nut oils” . You may need to translate this warning depending on where you are selling.
These nuts are potential allergens (Tree nuts). Note that coconut is also listed even though it is unusual to have an allergy to it.
- Sweet Almond
- Bitter Almond
- Brazil Nut
- Cashew Nut
- Horse Chestnut
- Kola Nut
- Kukui Nut
- Macadamia Nut
- Sesame Seed
If you require further information don’t hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org