Making Indie Nail polish and the European Cosmetic Regulations

What are the EU Regulation 1223/2009 (Cosmetics Regulations) ?

Very good question. They were brought into effect in 2013 and replaced the old EC Cosmetic Directives. Essentially they do the same job but the new regulations introduced some new stuff. According to Europa “The Cosmetics Regulation is the main regulatory framework for finished cosmetic products when placed on the EU market.” Basically any cosmetic product that is put on the market has to adhere to the legislation and requirements outlined by these regulations. So let's get to the other burning question that you all have.

What does that mean to you when making and selling your nail polish?

Practically speaking you need to do a few things.

  1. Get a Safety Assessment/ Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR)

  2. Get some product liability insurance

  3. Register on the CPNP (Cosmetic Product Notification Portal)

The Safety Assessment.. What is it?

To make sure that your nail polish is safe for people to use you need a safety assessment/CPSR. This is a document prepared by a chemist who specializes in the cosmetics field. This document will tell you which ingredients you can put in your nail polish, how much of that ingredient you can use and what other ingredients you are allowed to mix together. This chemist has thought about all of the possible things that could happen when you are mixing your stuff. Remember when you are making your Indie polish it's all chemical interactions that make the magic happen :)

You will also need to keep files called PIF (Product Information Files) that should contain all the information about the ingredients you used and the amounts of each one that you used. You must also include an ingredients label so that customers can know what is in your polish. This leads me swiftly on to the safety of certain ingredients. Basically Indie polish makers love to put the latest wonderful pigments and additives into their nail polish. We then paint our nails, sit back and go wow. Isn't that effect amazing!

Now there is nothing wrong with that but we need to make sure that the ingredients we use are safe and are listed somewhere in the Regulations. If the INCI or ingredients you have used are not listed in the current regulations then we are not allowed to use them. One well known example is Spectraflair pigment which is very popular in the United States however it contains an ingredient that is not allowed in nail polish according to the EU Regulations. So if you put it in your polish it cannot be sold or even given away within the European Union.

You also need to think about good housekeeping! GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). Basically do not produce your nail polish in the pots and pans that you might use to cook food in. And endeavour to keep your work areas clean and free from debris. Just use your common sense!

Product Liability Insurance

This insurance will cover you if a claim is made against you and your nail polish.

CPNP (Cosmetic Product Notification Portal)

Before a cosmetic product is placed on the market for sale in the EU it must be registered on the CPNP according to article 13 of the Regulations by the 'responsible person'. You the Indie nail polish maker are the “responsible person” and therefore it is up to you to register your new nail polish. Registering is quite straight forward and simple and should not be a cause for concern.

Note: The information in this article is provided for information purposes and readers should consult the relevant source for further guidance.

Note: This article is a work in progress and will be added to and updated when appropriate.