Europe: ban on the use of methylisothiazolinone in leave-on products approved

As of February 2017, leave-on cosmetic products containing methylisothiazolinone will no longer be allowed on the market.

A widely-used preservative in many personal care products, methylisothiazolinone has been associated with various allergic reactions.

The ban was proposed last year and will most probably be followed by a complete restriction in the very near future.




Why are the industries regulated?


Regulatory Affairs is a sector born out of the need of governments across the globe to ensure the development and the delivery of safe and effective products to consumers and individuals in areas such as pharmaceuticals, medicines, medical devices, agrochemicals and cosmetics. 

The first to be regulated were the healthcare industries, with the diphteria epidemic leading to the 1902 Biologics Control Act in the United States, which regulated the sale of viruses, serums, toxins and similar products in the District of Columbia. Though initially dominated by the US, due to its technological forefront and market size, nowadays health ministries worldwide implemented directives, acts and regulations to control the safety of products, by making sure manufacturers comply with the minimum safety criteria established beforehand.

In Europe, the European Union started to harmonize the regulation of healthcare products in its member states in 1980, with the New Approach Directive to become the first major breakthrough in healthcare regulation in the region.

In Japan, the first regulation on production of non-regulated patent medicines (regulation of face lotions, toothpaste etc. not deemed to be patent medicines) or quasi-drugs was published in 1900. In 1960, the current Pharmaceutical Affairs Act was validated and the obligation to appoint a technical officer for cosmetics was installed. Seven years later, cosmetic quality standards and cosmetic ingredient standards were established.

Cosmetic products are subject to regulatory requirements in almost every country. In a century of constant innovation and rapid technological development, Health Ministries across the globe are continuously reviewing and updating laws, in order to ensure a high degree of consumer protection, while also helping minimize business impacts such as loss of sales, product recall or withdrawal.


US bans microbeads

The ban on manufacturing microbeads will enter into force on the 1st of July 2017. OTC medicines and cosmetics containing microbeads can no longer be manufactured starting July 1, 2018, with OTC drugs whose composition include the plastic microspheres, and had already been available on the market, still being allowed for sale until the 1st of July 2019.

Most commonly made of polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, microbeads are widely used in cosmetics and personal care products as exfoliating agents. While very efficient in skin exfoliation, the main concern in regards to them has arisen from their impact on water.

Companies will therefore need to start focusing on finding less harmful alternatives to use in developing their products, as good for the skin, but better for the environment.


Image Source: Peach Willow Spa