Worldwide growth of the economy, changes in lifestyles, and rising demands of skincare products due to varying climates encourage the growth of cosmetics. All cosmetic products imported for sale in India need to undergo cosmetic product registration with the central licensing authority (Rule 21 of Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945. As per guidelines of imported cosmetic product registration, the categorization of cosmetics is broadly into four significant heads- Skin products, Hair and Scalp Products, Nail and Cuticle products, and oral hygiene products.
What is Cosmetic?
“Cosmetic” is defined as any article intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled or sprayed on, or introduced into, or otherwise applied to, the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and includes any article intended for use as a component of cosmetic. In short, cosmetics are used externally and cannot alter physiological processes.
Are all Beauty products Cosmetics as per label claims?
To make a cosmetic product registration, the manufacturer or importer needs to take care of any misleading claims which are related to any form of physiological change post-application. As per regulations, information on cosmetic labeling, including cosmetic claims, must be truthful. For example, if a product is marketed with claims of preventing or treating disease, or altering the function of the body and affecting the structure —including the skin—it’s a drug according to the law. It must meet the requirements for drugs, even if it affects appearance. An importer or a manufacturer cannot use these misleading drug claims to describe the product on its packaging in order to be considered as cosmetic.
Proper labeling is an essential aspect of marketing a cosmetic product. “Misbranding” refers to violations involving improperly labeled or deceptively packaged products. Many companies claim too much like their products will change a person’s appearance, make structural changes to the skin, and even prevent or treat certain medical conditions.
For example, cosmetic claim like moisturizing. A moisturizer claiming to decrease the “appearance” of wrinkles and fine lines by increasing the water content of skin is considered a cosmetic. Cosmetics do not require regulatory approval like any drug before going to market. However, skincare product manufacturers must follow the laws and regulations that apply to cosmetics. Cosmetics are recognized by the drug authority as having no medical value. But if the same skincare product claims to heal acne it will be considered a drug claim and will not be anymore a cosmetic. Any such drug claim by a cosmetic will be considered misbranding. There are lot of other misleading cosmetic claims. More specific claims reducing inflammation, prevent facial muscle contractions, regenerate cell, and promise to treat medical conditions, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Amid rising disposable income, especially among the younger generation, and increasing penchant for grooming products, the market for cosmetics is lucrative. Importers and manufacturers must understand the importance of claims in their packaging to maintain authenticity and have an easier cosmetic registration in India.
- Guidelines on Registration of Import of Cosmetics.pdf. Available at: https://cdsco.gov.in/opencms/export/sites/CDSCO_WEB/Pdf-documents/cosmetics/Guidelines_on_Registration_of_Import_of_Cosmetics.pdf.Accessed on 31st May, 2020.
2. Cosmetics Labeling Claims. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-labeling/cosmetics-labeling-claims.Accessed on 31st May, 2020.