‘Safe Cosmetics’ pledge closes after seven years

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Safe cosmetics, Cosmetics

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is phasing out its Compact for Safe Cosmetics that it designed as a voluntary pledge for safety and transparency in the industry.

According to the consumer interest group, which also runs the SkinDeep database of cosmetic ingredients and products, the Compact for Safe Cosmetics allowed consumers to search for the companies taking steps towards safer cosmetics.

The Campaign claims that it has decided to ‘sunset’ the Compact due to the large amount of applicants, that were becoming to difficult to manage; although, it has said it will continue to work to engage the industry through other programmes.

Transparency and safety

The main aims of the Compact are transparency and safety, explained Lisa Archer, National Campaign Leader for the Breast Cancer Fund, one of the Campaign’s founding members.

“We realised that the current law didn’t require cosmetic companies to assess all ingredients for safety and didn’t require them to disclose all of this information,”​ she told CosmeticsDesign.com USA.

“We created the Compact for Safe Cosmetics to ask companies to reach the higher level of safety required by the EU Cosmetics Directive, as well as banning CMRs ​[carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic ingredients] and inventory all their ingredients for safety, while being fully transparent in this,”​ she added.

According to Archer more than 1500 companies have signed the Compact and 250 have fully complied to its demands. Archer said before the final close of the Compact in summer 2011, the Campaign hopes to have as many signers as possible fully complaint.

In order to comply with the Compact, the companies have to first comply with the EU Cosmetics Directive, which Archer claims is stricter than the US legislation, as well as disclosing all ingredients and publish product information in the Skin Deep database.

Ingredients of concern

In addition companies need to comply with the ingredient prohibitions and restrictions published by the Compact, which include petroleum byproducts, phthalates, nanoparticles and hydroquinone, among others.

According to Archer, these ingredients have been questions by many studies that are documented in the Skin Deep database.

Critics of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, claim that its conclusions are not based on valid scientific evidence and doesn’t pay heed to the relationship between hazard and risk.

For Archer, the key is the precautionary principle.

“If the weight of evidence shows us that there is a great deal of concern, we should act with caution and move towards safer products. There is no reason why a company should continue to use a concerning ingredient, no matter if it’s a large dose or a small dose, no matter if you can tell me how much will make me or my child sick, consumers want a safe product,”​ she said.

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