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Informing the Consumer

Consumer information is a key component of the interaction between the cosmetics and personal care industry and consumers. It conveys information about products, how they work, who they are for and how best to use them.

It is essential that consumers are able to make informed choices in full knowledge and that cosmetics manufacturers are transparent and responsible in their marketing communications. The cosmetics legislation clearly indicates what information must be conveyed to consumers through product labels, and it also sets criteria for the justification of voluntary marketing communication (claims).

Regulation governing labelling, advertising and claims by the cosmetics and personal care industry

Companies in our industry currently adhere to numerous rules and regulations governing labelling, advertising and cosmetic product claims. At the EU level, these comprise specific articles in the EU Cosmetics Regulation itself, including Article 19, which covers labelling requirements, and Article 20 which, together with the Common Criteria Regulation (EU) 655/2013, regulates the use of cosmetic product claims.

Evidence to substantiate cosmetic product claims is required both by the Cosmetic Products Regulation and the Common Criteria Regulation. In order to provide guidance to cosmetics manufacturers, and to facilitate their compliance with this legal requirement, Cosmetics Europe has developed Claim Substantiation Guidelines

In addition to the Cosmetic Products Regulation and the Common Criteria Regulation, companies need to comply with national advertising laws, which in turn are based on the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) and the Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive (MCAD), as well as other international and national advertising codes.

For a complete description of the regulatory and self-regulatory landscape governing cosmetic product claims, please refer to the Compendium of applicable legislation, self-regulation, guidance and best practice

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Applying a thorough self-regulatory approach to advertising

Our industry is committed to the highest standards in all aspects of our dealings with consumers. This includes marketing communications, in particular advertising. Cosmetics Europe works proactively to promote best practice in cosmetics advertising, in response to consumer concerns about any adverse impact cosmetics advertising may have on individuals and society as a whole.

Complementing the existing European legislation framework, the cosmetics industry took on a self-regulatory approach and in 2012 adopted the Charter and Guiding Principles on Responsible Marketing Communications.

Reviewed in 2020 to better reflect the challenges of today’s highly digitalised world, the Charter and Guiding Principles continue to lay down the common ground for responsible advertising and marketing communications that respect the human being, body image and human dignity across Europe, via all media (e.g. print, tv, radio, internet).

The Charter is endorsed by all Cosmetics Europe members, who commit to ensure that our industry’s advertising and marketing communications shall:


Comply with the relevant European and national legal and self-regulatory frameworks 
The European cosmetics and personal industry commits to fully abide by relevant regulations, directives, laws, and codes of practice. Such a legal and self-regulatory framework allows responsible trade and brings benefits to both consumers and economic operators. The industry will also continue to co-operate with public authorities and self-regulatory organisations at European and national level.

Be socially responsible
The European cosmetics and personal industry commits to respecting society’s evolving values towards social responsibility and to recognizing the variety of cultures and standards. Advertising and marketing communications must meet taste and decency principles and pay special attention to the respect of human beings and vulnerable consumers.

Be responsible when promoting the environmental benefits of cosmetic products
Consumers’ interest for the environmental benefits of cosmetic products is constantly increasing. Consumer information and education are part of the cosmetics industry’s global commitment to high standards in marketing communications which is aimed to assist the consumers in making an informed choice.

For further details on the Charter and Guiding Principles on Responsible Advertising and Marketing Communications, please click here.

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